Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Snowed In

Ranger Pro Brent Ehrler had some unexpected free time this morning and sent us his thoughts from Snowy Arkansas. Hope you enjoy:

When I left California two weeks ago, I never expected to be where I am today. On January 26, I hitched up my new Z521 in 80 degree weather in Southern CA. I then drove three hard days to get to Clewiston Florida. 2,600 miles later I again ended up in beautiful 80 degree weather. I drove that distance in order to fish the first FLW Open tournament for 2011 down on Okeechobee. The tournament was amazing. A few records were broken based on total weight brought to the scales. Unfortunately, I was not one of the record holders. It was a mediocre finish for me on this trip. This tournament solidified the fact that I can't catch bass in the beautiful state of Florida. True story, five tournaments between Okeechobee and Toho and zero dollars earned. No worries, I thought ahead about being prepared for the next tournament. I planned my trip in order to get to Beaver Lake in Northwest Arkansas and get a few days on the water before the official cut off rule. Again, I hooked up my Z521 and jumped back on the road. 1,200 miles this time and into a completely different world. I pulled into Rogers AR at 10 am Tuesday morning the 8th of February with flip flops, shorts and a Ranger t-shirt on. My first indication that I wasn't properly dressed was the simple fact that there was snow on the ground. The second indication was the temperature gauge on my Chevy Suburban that said 19. Both scenarios say "forget the flip flops." I launched the boat at Praire Creek Marina and drove up the White River to check things out. I was only able to get about 10 or 12 miles up before the entire lake was frozen over. The water temp was 36 degrees. I turned around and put it back on the trailer. Two hours total and zero casts made. I figured that I would get back to the hotel, rest up and recoup and put a hard day on the water the next day. I woke up the next morning to the 100 year storm covering all of Northwest AR with 18 inches of snow and a windchill of -1. Needless to say, I won't be going out today. Instead, I'm sitting in a hotel room watching Real Sports on HBO and hoping that I can still fly home tomorrow. I would expect this type of weather if I planned a ski trip to Mammoth Lakes in the Sierra Nevada Mountains out in CA but not in AR with my Ranger in tow and trying to get out on the lake to fish.