Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A nIce Day on the Water

Sunday 12.8.13 - There are some days when cold weather and a poor forecast doesn't have the last word, and the desire to be on the water wins out. Today was one of those days, and everything worked out great – we managed to stay warm, caught fish, and most importantly it was restorative.

The air was calm and raw, the temperature was 29-30 degrees F, and the muted daylight seemed to come from the horizon owing to the very thick cloud cover overhead. From the time I got on the river it felt as though snow would start falling any moment; threatening the first hour or so, and then delivering the last. I’m not complaining, it was quite peaceful – very still and quiet, except for the whisper of the river and the birds in the bare trees above. Woodpeckers tapped away as they searched for a meal under bark and in tree hollows. In the distance, the occasional sound of roosters and cattle added texture to the day.   

As one would expect, there were no bugs in the air or on the water, and the trout hunkered down out of site, hidden by the lightly stained water.  I fished nymphs off a stiff, frozen line, ice forming in my guides, forcing me to stop every so often to pop it out with my fingers.        

Thankfully, I managed to choose the right fly with my second choice.  If I hadn't, tying on and changing flies would have been tough with my semi-frozen fingers.  The fly was a brown and yellow Lafontaine Sparkle Emerger, size 12.  I fished it deep with a single split-shot, and shortly after I tied it on I hooked and landed a nice rainbow.   A while later another rainbow took my offering at the bottom of a deep run and soon came to net - a 17 inch standard issue New Jersey stocked fish.  Over the span of an hour and a half or so, I managed to catch 4 fish, 2 browns and 2 rainbows, all on the fly shown below.  The browns were of the wild variety.     
I made a detour on the way home and spent some time walking along the little creek down the street from my home.  Light snow was falling, dusting the rocks and trees, and small wild brown trout darted away in each pool and run as I approached.  Whenever I stopped walking, the only sound I heard was the soft hissing of the fine, icy snow falling on dried brush and tree branches.    
Sharpen your hooks.


Mr. Q said...

My favorite time to fish is when snow just begins to fall...the way the snow quiets the landscape is the most peaceful time to be outside....sounds like a nice afternoon....I was working!!!!

micah said...

Nice looking shot of the stream.