After weeks of not being able to fish for white perch—water too high or muddy, current too strong, winds too high to hold anchor—Paula, Gordon, and I finally made it out on the river last Monday. We rowed over to a hole on the Virginia side, anchored, and dropped bucktail “Dickie jigs” on 2-ounce sinkers and began working them. Five hours later, we had about 20 perch in the wire basket tied to the stern of the boat. It wasn’t anything like the old days, of course. Fifty years ago, the season lasted two solid months, March 15 to May 15. “You could count on filling a 5-gallon bucket every day,” Gordon says. Now you’re lucky to get half that in a season. But we’d caught our first fish of the year and that meant something.