We knew we were taking a chance. More accurately, we both planned on a miserable day of fishing.
Days before Troy Ethridge and I met early Monday in Salina the forecast said the day was to be very windy and very hot on Wilson Lake.
Wilson is one of Kansas’ best fishing lakes, surely the prettiest, but can also be the most fickle. It seems it’s either dead-calm which makes fishing tough in crystal-clear water or the white caps are so tall boating is pure misery.
Ethridge’s idea was to arrive early hoping to beat the worst gales.
The wind was already whipping the tree tops when I left Newton at 6 a.m. and was strong in Salina an hour later.
But it was just a nice breeze when we reached Wilson and to our surprise it stayed that way all morning.
In fact it wasn’t until we’d just placed our tenth, limit-filling walleye in the boat at about 1:30 p.m. that the white caps came rolling.
“It’s not often the forecast is wrong in favor of the fisherman,” Ethridge said. “Usually they predict a light wind and it really blows. This is a lot better.”
Sitting on 60-something degree water into the early afternoon we also fished in total comfort while those on land sweltered.
Ethridge had to slowly motor between the rollers on our way back to the ramp where a high wind blowing across scalding asphalt hit us like air from a blast furnace.
And we smiled all the way back to Salina.
You can read more about Ethridge’s fishing expertise on the outdoors page of Sunday’s Wichita Eagle and at www.kansas.com/outdoors.