Winter fishing can be so unpredictable, "predictable" it's almost so hard to explain. We fished a stream yesterday, the same one I fished Sunday. Both days were sunny and bright but that's where the similarities end. The days since Sunday have been colder and each day a strong wind was present. The stream had its stones exposed and were laced with ice, pretty from a distance but dangerous. Fly selection would be easy and presentation not a worry, the key would be to keep it near the bottom and fish it slow. I was a bit surprised when the fly I was fishing took a strike not more than 18" from where I was standing. The brown was on briefly but swam away rapidly.
We moved along fishing likely areas where the trout would be found. The wind picked up and the ice was forming on the guides. I suggested we take a break and visit a store and warm up with a cup of coffee...man that was good. Fishing for about another hour or so I did manage to get a nice brown to take my offering. Bringing a fish to hand in winter is so rewarding. We came to that point when fishing was not what we had hoped it would be this day and we packed it in.
Spirited wild brown...look at that tail.
Driving home my thoughts were of a crock pot venison stew I had made the day before. When I got home the first thing I did was heat it up and enjoy some internal comfort and joy at the end of this January day.
Little fish, big tail, looks like it's done some swimming in its day! It's definitely stew season and, I too am thankful for a deer in the freezer.ReplyDelete
Lester with a tail that size the swimming was pretty fast. Oh that wild flavor, so natural, food to savor and be thankful for.
The first thing I do when returning from a fishing trip this time of year is have a long, hot shower to warm up. I think I'd prefer your stew.ReplyDelete
John that hot shower did come first, and it also felt good.
The peaceful setting in the first picture looks like a spot I could spend all day exploring.ReplyDelete
Man, that's some good looking stew!!
Jeff peaceful indeed, a tad cool but OK. The stew was awesome.
Hats off for braving the wind and cold, proving that the trout do feed in the dead of winter. Thanks for sharing
Bill trout do feed in the coldest streams but not often and the fly must bump them in the nose.
Amazing how, during the winter, a few days can totally change the fishability of a stream. Clear and beautiful to ice encrusted in only a day or two. Still good to drift a fly though! Good looking stew!ReplyDelete
Will and yet we still fish, so much more to it. I hope your enjoying a stew also.
Alan - it's wasn't too long ago that we were talking about a mild winter that we could fish through and now we are waiting for ice to clear! What a crazy winter this has been! Kudos for getting out there and doing a little exploring and finding a fish under tough winter conditions.ReplyDelete
I remember that conversation. And winter is about to enhance us with some white stuff.
Always a pleasure finding a willing friend to take a fly.
For better or worse it is about to warm up again.ReplyDelete
Rowan it's for the better, my bones tell me so.
a touch of snow! and yum on stew!ReplyDelete
Theresa with the "big" full moon tonight I'll bet that stream looks great.
It always amazes me how much we enjoy a good warm stew after enduring cold ,wind and not ideal conditions to fish. It's those simple rewards at the end of a day makes it worth whileReplyDelete
Brad that stew warms you up like a Woolrich blanket. Although not ideal I think most of us would love to do it more often.
Alan, I am amazed at the beauty of these waters even in the dead of winter! The fish that you photograph look as if they are as hard as crystal! Still, there is very much beauty in their flanks and fins! As I was scrolling down through this post, I stopped just short of the text line underneath the photo of the brown with the big tail. Before I went on down, the thought in my head was "what a huge tail for such a mighty-might". Funny how that goes sometimes!ReplyDelete
Your venison stew makes me feel good just looking at it! You are an accomplished chef as well! Excellent! Looking forward to the next installment!
Soon to be covered up in snow,
Doug those waters are about to look even prettier when the snow falls this weekend. Lots of fly tying time. I don't know if chef is the right name, but I remember some of moms ways in the kitchen. Shovels ready sir..........
Alan, I give you a lot of credit for getting out this time of year and am glad you were rewarded with the nice brown. Good sized tail for his size and I hope he grows into it. I love this blog and read it if at home or away for work. It helps me get through winter.ReplyDelete
Best Regards, Sam
Sam the effort is well worth it, especially when one knows what's waiting for them at home.
I'm glad I can make one feel good, and we can endure winter together.
When we get one of those rare, nicer than normal days I think about running up to Clear Creek. Then I remember that it's solid ice. Thanks for keeping me going Alan.ReplyDelete
Howard there is a point when a good thought gets a slap of reality. And a stream that's solid ice is better left alone.
I am sure it was good to just get out for a short time and fish! That stream always holds gorgeous colored browns!
Pete wait 'til I take you to a section of that stream you have never seen.
I'll be waiting to go, but we may need a little thaw after the snow that is coming our way!!
You have that right.Delete
Winter fishing is all about being able to just enjoy being out, and if there are any bites, then that's a big bonus. Ha That looks like a meal that will warm you up and keep you happy for most of the day.ReplyDelete
Justin your words are true. Most times a day out is all one needs.