I was out yesterday walking a few new blue lines. I have been aware of two of these but have never followed up on them. The day was beautiful for doing some hiking, sunny skies and temps near 45. I know this time of year can be a great time to see these streams for with out vegetation in full bloom the access is good, although the fishing can be unpredictable it is still worth the effort.
The first stream I ventured to was located in a valley. The water flow was good but the edges were packed with shelf ice. There were some open spots but it was difficult casting and I lost a few flies to the undetermined currents.
The second stream was not any better. Slippery shelf ice is not good.
The third stream I stopped at was a lot friendlier. It's waters clear, and crisp. The stream was a typical mountain freestone. It had boulders, blow-downs, and some very nice pools. The best featured was there was no ice.
I saw this pool and said if there are wild brook trout in this stream that's where I'll find one.
Sure enough. The brookie struck just as the fly went below the surface. As I released the little jewel into his tangled home I noticed how cold the water felt. Hey it's winter the water should be "cold". I dropped the thermometer into that pool and I could not believe it....33 degrees. We have been having some mild days lately and I would have guessed the streams would have come up temperature wise....something else learned. And another tidbit "they are not all hibernating", keep the whistle handy.
I moved along the stream fishing pockets and plunges. There were bumps and even a few hook-ups.
While not a bad day overall it was still tough to get a feeling on how productive this stream will be, I guess I'll have to check back on it come Spring.