Winter fishing is tough. Access to the stream means walking through snow, not a big deal by itself but the things it covers can be nasty. For instance barbed wire from 50 years ago, a frozen water ditch that suddenly gives way as you get into the center of it and finally those rustic bridges that cross a stream. It seems those bridges freeze up and the ice is hidden beneath the snow that fell on top.
Shelf ice is a big problem. Dangerous beyond words, and a real bi@#h to fish near. The trout will hold under the shelf and if your fly survives the drift without hanging up on a twig you can't see or your tippet doesn't get cut by the ice you just may have a trout take it.
But with slow fishing there is still plenty of enjoyment. I saw several beautiful ice creations.
Several big boys were here as this tree shows.
One of those rustic bridges I told you of. I was able to wade to cross the stream so a slip did not occur. But just downstream from this bridge, after 3 hours of nothing but drifting flies I finally had a take, and a hookup.
Major excitement as I placed my hand under this brookie. I also took another hit almost in the same place where I caught the first brookie but it managed to get off. A great day of winter fishing. Beautiful country and water. I managed to stay dry and a jewel to hand.
A nice looking winter day. Your photo really captures his remarkable vermiculations. Studded boots and careful, well thought out steps are a must for winter fishing but no guarantee for staying dry.
Joe lot's of baby steps when I'm out there. A good stout stick helps to. Beautiful out there.
Nice pictures Alan. We've been lucky so far this winter, almost no shelf ice. Usually it's 10 feet of ice on either side with a 2 foot stream.ReplyDelete
What are you wearing for waders or boots?
Bill that's about it. I use Frogg Togg's hip waders. The shoe is Cabelas felt sole.
I remember when we used to live upcountry, we'd get those kind of ice crystals. I also remember when we got them it was really cold. At least you beat the skunk with that one jewel.ReplyDelete
"upcountry" I like that Mark. We have a local fly shop named "Upcountry"
No skunk, but awful close.
Beautiful pics as always, Alan. The rub reminded me; did you manage to get out in the woods this deer season?ReplyDelete
Mike I was able to get a few days in the woods. I saw a four point but could not take a shot.
You're a brave soul to endure those conditions and still land trout---congrats on making a connection--thanks for sharing
Bill brave maybe, Jeanette says something else.
Congrats on a great day of winter fishing, Alan. One fish this time of year is satisfying, plus it does a fellow good to get outdoors to keep the cabin fever away.ReplyDelete
One fish almost to hand for me this afternoon, but the nice rainbow came off just as I reached to net it. It hit and fought hard for water being in the mid thirties. A real pretty one, extremely bright red stripe.
Sam credit to you for getting out. It must have been raining. Trout this time of year can be tough, and loosing them at the net can be frustrating. But I tell you there is no better way to spend your time...well done. Sam what flies were you using?
Alan, it was just misting a little when I started out, but the wind was blowing hard at times. I didn't mind though, it just felt good to be in the water. For a lark I started out with a small mouse pattern that I drifted over a couple of potential brown trout holding zones, but got no interest. I haven't given up on that concept though. I think I might connect with a big one on that fly some day.ReplyDelete
To end the day I tied on a bead head Gartside Sparrow and added good sized split shot above it to get deep. Dead drifting brought no action, but the first time I pulled on it that is when the rainbow hit it. I got no more action, but no matter as it was getting dark anyway. Hooking the one trout did my spirits good.