A buddy expressed interest in fishing today so there we go, gone fishin’. We got a later start and arrived stream side around 10am. Skies were cloudy and temps were cold, around 28 for a high. Guides iced up, fingers and toes lost feeling, fish readily ate!
I started with an orange scud followed by a little zebra midge. That didn’t fish well. I landed one yesterday on a soft hackle trailing a heavier fly so I decided to give it a try.
Fish responded really well! My buddy got in on the fun using a 7’ 9” three weight he recently purchased from Whitewater Valley Flies!
He landed over a dozen fish today, almost all larger than any brown trout he’d previously caught. We spent the day taking turns so we could each take time to warm up.
Look at the paddle on this puppy! We found fish stacked in deeper pools. They were eager to eat the soft hackle.
By the time we turned toward home we’d spent around 5 hours on stream. Between the two of us I’d guess around 40-50 fish came to hand. Almost all took the softhackle fished beneath heavier flies.
With the wife out of town and temps in the “guides won’t freeze up” range, how could I not go chase trout!? I arrived at the first location at 830a. Temps started in the low 30s but fell throughout the day, typical as a front works through. Wind too. At that first location the wind blew in my face and I quickly became uncomfortable so as I fished I formulated a plan for the rest of the morning/early afternoon.
Well shoot! The first fish of the day was a dandy. He took an orange scud fished on the bottom. I considered toughing it out at this spot, but after a half hour or so with only a few small browns to hand I pulled the plus and headed for greener, er warmer, pastures.
What I found on this stream was interesting. The water was low and clear. I waded through a lot of seams that hold trout in spring, summer, and fall. They weren’t there. Fish were however schooled up on the tail end of deeper pools. Really big schools. While I could see em well, they could see me too. I spooked hundreds of fish including a few 18+ inch monsters. After an hour or so with few fish to show for my efforts I rerigged my leader and tippet to a length of 16 feet, terminating with 5x tippet. By this point I was fishing a zebra midge. This helped. It was also really hard to cast!
For a brief moment I tried swinging a soft hackle but returned to the sz 18 zebra midge, tandem rigged with another sz 18 zebra. Any time my cast landed without spooking fish the indicator dipped.
These fish were in great shape for this time of the year. Many fought above their weight class, affirming my decision to fish a 5 weight rod.
Be 230p I was cold and eager to get home to watch the Packers whip up on the Rams. Around 30 fish came to hand today with most running between 12-15 inches, bigger than average. Now, I’m off to tie up some scuds for tomorrow!
By 530pm I was cursing the moon. I arrived on stream around 430pm. Expectations were modest under partly cloudy skies and with temps in the high 30s. I didn’t initially plan to fish this afternoon but with springlike conditions and streams so close by, why the hell not!
The setting sun hit this trout perfectly! He plucked a size 18 rusty colored zebra midge fished off the bottom of a pool loaded with trout. I used 5x tippet and a small indicator. The stream was crystal clear so long casts, a low profile, and a lengthy leader/tippet was of utmost importance.
I landed one brookie! This fish has a strong lateral line. Most of the fish that came to hand were very small but there was one subtle current seam that appeared to harbor some quality trout.
This was the fish of the day. When I set the hook my 7’6” fiberglass rod bent deep into the grip section. It felt like I hooked the bottom but with slight movement. He dug deep and fought hard. I expected to see a fish twice his size when he came to hand.
This fish gave a similar accounting of himself. It was great to get out for a short period, catch some quality fish, and do so in comfort! A dozen and a half or so fish took the zebra midge pattern. One took a size 18 soft hackle fly after I spotted a riser. Only spotted a few little midges fluttered about. I haven’t fished much lately and as I drove home I was already planning my escape to the streams this weekend.
After hiking the bluffs all day yesterday and most of today it was time to fish. A buddy wanted to buy a rod so we met up, made the exchange, and set out to find some trout to bend it on. We arrived on stream by 3 and fished until around 530pm. Temps were in the mid to low 20’s and a light breeze and hazy skies topped off fridges conditions. We fished midges and rusty colored mayfly patterns with good success. The San Juan worm and hares ear yielded nothing. He landed 6 fish and I got 4. Two were brook trout, none were larger. The next few days should fish really well with scuds, zebra midges, and other small (sz 16-18) nymphs. When fish are looking up cluster midge patterns like the Griffiths Gnat and lone midge patterns should work. Don’t be afraid to give those little dries a gentle twitch now and then. Stay warm and get out there before the polar vortex hits!
With three days off of work how could I not get out fishing? Well, I did get out a little on New Years Day but spent the remainder of the weekend scouts no out bow hunting spots for next season. With temperatures in the high 20’s to low 30’s during the heat of the day conditions were good for winter fishing. Low winds helped enhance the comfort factor.
I spent 2.5 hours fishing a smaller sized stream. I was surprised at how dirty the water was on this stretch and noticed two muskrats mulling about. There were probably horses or cows in the pasture upstream. Either way I expected clear water and needed to change my game plan right off the bat. Fish ate a size 18 zebra midge and a San Juan worm. I tried a number of other midge patterns with no luck. I’ve heard positive reports from today and yesterday including from a buddy that fooled a few on streamers!
Anyone that got out today was treated to beautiful scenery enhanced by frost.
I hope to get out a bunch next weekend so stay tuned. Hit me up if you need a good selection of winter patterns or a fly rod to sling ‘em.