Monday, December 9, 2013

Cold fingers, frozen guides, snow, midges and almost an inside the park grand slam

NEARLY!! Instead it was just a three run triple

Yesterday was my second day on the water for 2013, and probably my last too. Checked the weather during the week and sought permission based on the fact it was gonna be low 30s with snow/rain mix - not ideal outside weather for the family; so permission was granted.

I decided I'd leave a little later than I normally do, in order to arrive at the fly shop close to the water right about opening time, 11am, and also given it was gonna be cold, I figured things would liven up on the stream right when the sun was at its highest, or at least closer to midday, given there was no sun.

So I stopped by the tackle store, chewed the fat, bought some fly tying materials, because you know, I don't have enough, and got some local skinny on the water. I've only fished this stream two times in the past as it's a 65 mile drive from my house (one way), but both times I've had success, so I went in confident. Well, when I say confident, I mean as confident as I could be given the last time I was there I took a dunk, almost to the same day, this time last year. But I digress.

So, I get to the stream, tackle up and hit the nice riffle that's right there at the access point. I fish it for about an hour with some competitors - but neither of us catch anything. 

As I'm casting I'm looking around always watching, as you do, for signs of activity. I figured since I saw my feathered friend's head dive a couple times, that there was definitely fish in the area. 

I see some fish rising in a feeder stream right before it entered the main water - it had a nice slow flow, a little riffle, and was pretty shallow. Bear in mind, the thermometer on the car read 32F when I got out to tackle up, so I was intrigued to find what they were rising too (I still have no idea)

So I gently wade over there (makeshift hiking pole/wading staff in hand) and start drifting my flies down. There was at least 5-6 fish based on the periodicity and location of the rises. 
So then it starts to snow, just a gentle flutter and I finally feel the bump bump of a fish hitting my fly - Keep calm and don't trout set - I gently haul the line to hook him - a little 5 inch rainbow. Nice one, skunk off, but my little zebra midge is unraveled so I change to a red one in the same size (only one black zebra in my box, luckily the aforementioned materials will remedy that problem) and fish the rest of my time in that little hole. I end up catching a nice 8 inch brownie as the snow starts to get heavier, on the red zebra. Thinking I would only have a little while left, I keep casting and catch another. This time a nice 8 inch tiger trout....which was interesting, cause I wasn't aware there were brook trout in that stream. Now my interest is peaked, and I want the inside the park grand slam. But to no avail. I started fishing about 1145 and had decided to call it quits about 2pm. My wife called and told me there had been 15cm of snow at home and that I shouldn't come home too late. Ended up took me almost 3 hours at 35-40 MPH in snow and rough conditions to get home, but the two and half hours on the water was definitely worth it. No fish pictures as I forgot my net and didnt want to be troubling the fish any more than a hook in their jaw, plus it was way too cold to be fumbling with phone.

I've now got the career grand slam if I include my little Maine brookies from a few summers ago....All in all, its been a great 2 day season for me this year!!

Plus, its always good to out fish the natives!!


1 comment:

  1. Winter fishing can be great if you are prepared for the conditions. Usually little competition to fish the productive spots.


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