Saturday, January 29, 2022

The Off Season

In Utah, there is no 'Off Season' or at least no closed season on trout fishing. Certain waters do get closed for parts of the year to protect spawning fish, but there's always somewhere to wet a line if you're feeling the itch and can withstand the cold. That's IF you can withstand the cold and a lot of people I know refuse to get out there and freeze. I can't really blame them, it's not much fun to bundle up so much it's hard to walk just to chase after a few fish that you'll most likely release anyway and come back with no feeling in your extremities. 

But there are some advantages to winter fishing. For one thing, there aren't as many people out on the water so you can go to the popular tailwaters without it feeling like combat fishing. The people who are out are just as crazy (or crazier) than you so they either won't bother you at all or you might actually be able to have a decent conversation with them. These aren't your tourist fisherpeople, these are the hardcore, committed, obsessed, crazies that can't help but fish every chance they get. In other words, these are your people and they probably won't take time away from freezing just to talk to you. 

Of course, it's easy to find reasons not to go fishing. Projects around the house need doing and if you get them done while it's cold out maybe you won't have to work on them when the weather is nice and the fishing will be better. Laying the flooring in my basement seems to be the project that never ends, but it will, and hopefully, before the temps regularly rise above freezing and the bugs (and fish) become more active. Of course, once the flooring is done there will be doors, trim and more painting to do. There is always something and it's easy to let it keep you home. 

So you don't let anything keep you home and get out there despite your internal dialog that says it's a waste of time. What you find is the weather isn't that bad through the middle of the day and it's nice to be outside again. Whether or not you find fish is a whole other issue, but it really is nice to be out there doing it instead of spending inordinate amounts of time tying flies and thinking about fishing. Sometimes it works out and you manage to catch some fish, sometimes even on dries. Just like that. Days that work out make you wonder why you haven't been getting out every chance you get. Then there are the days that you don't even see a fish and it seems to confirm that you haven't been wussing out, just biding your time until the weather and the fish are more hospitable so it's not a waste of your time, money, and effort. 

Working around the house watching birds and the mule deer that sometimes wander through the yard does wear thin though....maybe I'll go fishing tomorrow.

Hope you're as lucky,


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