Sunday, February 2, 2020

Winter Fishing

This time of year is usually the least favorite of fly fishermen. The cold makes us retreat to our tying vices or give into the temptation of staring down a ice hole, either way visions of hatches and warmer days distract us from our pursuits. A new saddle hackle has me excited to tie (thanks FlyFishFood) but every fly has me thinking about a different piece of water that I'm looking forward to hitting this summer. 

The stream down by Jeff's house was weighing on my mind and I knew we'd have to try it again before too long. Hoping that not much had changed we hit it early and went to an area that I've had success in the past. Unfortunately, the water was up, cold, and a little off-color which changed the everything we thought we might know about what the fish would be up to. Oh well, a Wired-San-Juan-Worm is always a strong option and we found a few willing fish. 

Working every night doesn't leave me with much energy when it comes to the weekends, but Super Bowl Sunday brought some super weather with temperatures climbing up into the low fifties. I decided to wait until mid morning before hitting the water. Rather than waste the early hours lying awake in bed I decided to tie up a few flies that I hoped would come in handy.

The morning was warming up nicely, but the snow melt was making the water a little cold. I started out without much confidence but the first fish was a nice one that took a pink scud and gave the 6x all it could handle. 

It was slowing going from there until I found some fish rising! The low, clear water made the approach difficult but I tied on some extra tippet and worked hard to keep my shadow off the water. A bad cast had to be left on the water until it drifted past the risers. I didn't think one would swim 3 feet out of it's lane to take so to say it caught me off guard might be a bit of an understatement. Another understatement would be how badly I missed the take and that blew the hole. 

I did manage to hook and land a couple, but most were just close calls that I managed to mess up in one way or another. You can't catch them all, but I wouldn't want it any other way and had a great time giving each fish my best shot. You can't ask for much more on a winter's day, but I'm more excited for spring fishing now!

Hope you're as lucky,


  1. Those are some great ties. Love the renegade it has to be one of my favorite dry flies.

    1. Thanks! Renegade is a classic for a reason, such a versatile fly!