Letter to the NFR Weather Editor
Blog by: Matt Snider 12/11/2018
Yesterday I cleaned windows almost the entire day. That is not fishing. I was able to look outside of course, and I went outside to clean the exterior, but I was not outdoors. If I had been ice fishing instead, that would be considered being outdoors. Up in the mountains, battling wind and snow, sweating and freezing at the same time. But no, yesterday was a day to focus on the things in life not so fulfilling.
The day before I could've gone ice fishing, but I didn't. Instead I drove around Fort Collins to a variety of lakes, mostly small, to check and report on their conditions, ice gear optimistically in the back. Around here most of the small ponds are capped with ice, but in no way are they worthy for ice fishing for the masses (or at least most people.) If I had really been chomping at the bit to ice a line, I would've grabbed my spud bar and cautiously checked a couple of the ponds. But I didn't, I just kept moving.
All last week I went through a hoard of boxes of dusty attic stuff. It was a project my wife started. She is lovely. My pile took up nearly half the garage, and as of today I have it down to five plastic tubs, three with mementos, one filled with an original Atari console and games, another filled with old fishing magazines which will get pared down next go-around.
I have the ice fishing bug, but it's hard to break away from my everyday responsibilities to get up the hill to safer, if not a bit more consistent ice. And with the weather on the front range expected to hover at or above the freezing line in the foreseeable future, I need to do some serious planning to break away. It is a busy time of year to break away.
So I thought I'd write a letter to the person in charge of the weather to maybe help me out a bit.
To whom it may concern (in the department of northern front range weather):
Hello, I am writing today with the hopes of having an impact on near-future weather forecasting. I know that you do not typically take requests, but I would like to at least try. You are doing a fine job in regard to those who enjoy nice weather, those without cold-weather gear, and those without winter hobbies. I do not intend this to be a critique of your current decision-making process, but instead a plea to consider a slight change for a little while.
I have a hobby called ice fishing. It is a great way to spend the winter. In the past, prior to my hardwater fancies, I would drive many miles to fly fish tailwaters or sit at home and tie flies until you decided to warm things back up in the spring. Over the past few years I instead was able to get outside, walk on substances better suited for swimming, exercise my mind and my body, and enjoy some fishing through little holes.
The plans you have for us over the next 10 days on the front range severely impacts my ability to partake in ice fishing. You see, I have a family, a job, and several responsibilities tugging at my free time. If the weather continues on the same path as you have set so far, I will have to drive many miles to reach places where I can safely do what I want to do. I just don't have the time.
There are many like me who would say the same. That being said, please consider a change. On behalf of the people who have winter hobbies like ice fishing, I would like to suggest a batch of cold weather in the near future. Enough to give us about 4 or more inches of solid ice on lakes and ponds below 6,000 feet in elevation. It would be OK if you sprinkle in a couple of warm and wind-less days now and again to keep everyone happy. I do enjoy ice fishing in warm weather. Did I mention that my dog also enjoys ice fishing trips? Do you want her to break through thin ice?
I know what you're thinking: you'll get complaints from people who prefer warmer weather. I have a list of responses you can utilize at your call center to help:
• "We understand your complaint. However, you live in Colorado and it has a reputation of cold and snowy winters. Head south or consider taking a week vacation out of country."
• "We've given you at least nine months of open water fishing this year sir, time to take a break."
• "Please take up a winter hobby."
• "We are planning some short windows of warm weather soon, please stay tuned - spring is just around the corner."
• "We need to make it cold sometimes for the economy. If the weather was always warm, winter gear manufacturers would go out of business."
• "We provide cold weather so that, if you prefer, you can stay indoors and take care of things you normally wouldn't get to if the weather was nice – like cleaning your attic."
That's just a start, and I'd be happy to provide more if we can simply get a little bit of a cold blast to firm up some of the ice around here. Again, I think you're doing a great job so don't take this the wrong way. Just please, please help me out here. I am going a little bit crazy. Give me teens or give me eighties. Anything in-between is not doing anyone any good.
To join the cause, sign below. I figure a dozen or so signatures may make a difference. If anyone knows the address for the weather council, please let me know. I think it is Federal.
Wattzz, CO 12/11/2018 1:57:09 PM
anglerwannabe, CO 12/11/2018 3:10:39 PM
you're awesome Matt.. but but BBBBoooooooooo Now if only South Park would MOSTLY unfreeze... some ice around in places.. very thin ice.. and the rest open water... I would have those lakes only for me ahahahahahhahahahah lol As for the weather temps.. 50's with 5 to 10 MPH wind is perfection.
PerchJerker, CO 12/13/2018 7:34:28 AM
I am signing up for the cause. I understand the need to clean out my basement in order to reduce the insurance risk for bodily injury as I attempt to maneuver my way to my fishing gear. I feel , however, my susceptibility to mental trauma injury is highly increased due to warm winter weather limiting my ability to ice fish locally. Once the weather center address is obtained, I will submit a letter from my physician, Dr. Id E. Ut, certifying that cold winter weather is needed for my therapy. Matt, thank you for initiating this effort. Almost everyone except AWB will benefit from this. Sincerely, PerchJerker. 🤪
IceFishingFool, CO 12/13/2018 5:36:38 PM
I am on board also, if only to oppose that anglerwannabe, its a know fact that seeds need and extended time of way below freezing temps so they will germinate in the spring. The perfect out come would be a minus 20 from 9PM to 6AM every day of December, January, and February and day time temps of say 30-32, another benefit would be the likes of aglerwannabe would get a good nights sleep all comfortable and snuggled under their warm blankets.
Matt Snider (Matt), CO 12/13/2018 7:16:59 PM
IFF and PerchJerker, thank you. AWB, "We've given you at least nine months of open water fishing this year sir, time to take a break."
IceFishingFool, CO 12/14/2018 10:46:58 AM
Nine months of ice would be nice
panfishin, CO 12/14/2018 9:25:32 PM
Haha I his is hilarious Matt!! I am hoping to start to lean this ice fishing deal this winter...
Kev-o, CO 12/14/2018 10:04:46 PM
Good blog Matt. If the weather would only cooperate we wouldn’t have to drive so far. Anglerwannabe is just a hater don’t let him bother you.
smalliefan, CO 12/15/2018 7:46:29 PM
I am a retired meteorologist and have never made a bad forecast. If you believe that, maybe we should have a discussion. But I have a theory. The earth is spinning and the center of the spin is the North Pole. Thaw Arctic used to be covered with heavy ice and snow so that made that area cold and everyone agreed and was happy. The Arctic ice is now mostly gone so the ocean is heating that area. The center of cold is now like over Northern Europe. So now two centers don’t Agee and are fighting each other. Think of it as having two wives. In any case, the polar vortex used to be happy, well behaved, and stayed up there. Now it has wander lust and roams. When it is over us, we get cold like New England was or maybe still is. But when it is somewhere else we get warm. In other words we get periods of warm followed by periods of cold. I think that is the world we are beginning to see. My BYU’s get used to it. Maybe you could go early in the morning when the ice should be at it’s thickest. That may not be enough difference but it should be better than nothing. I am also guessing that we will get at least one more cold event before spring. Maybe you could spend this time preparing so you can take advantage when it does. With yooluck, it may come during the local fishing shows in January so you can check out you decision making process