Last time out the high was in the mid 30s or maybe even low 40s... This time high 20s I think. That is significant. It means that (1) your guides seize, as the surrounding air temp is below freezing, (2) the fish aren't as active, and (3) your fricking fingers don't work as well for tying knots, and they're a lot colder after releasing fish.
Those are observations though - not complaints. If you're in Heaven you can't tell God that yesterday was better than today. That's the deal here. In Heaven. And it is only 30 minutes from stationary position in my garage.
So the fishing wasn't as great... but still good. Someone gave me a good reminder this AM to fish small stuff. He said he recently pumped a trout's stomach and found ~70 midges... not a surprise - I've got photos and documentation of similar conclusion... He also said he ran into a 24" rainbow the other day, fishing the small stuff. I vowed to go away from attractors for today then, and fish some midges.
Started off forcing the soft hackle (emerging midge) on the fish, even though there was only an oh-so-occasional rise in each of the two slicks I fished. I knew it was wrong but I just kept ramming it at them and finally got one fish. I then moved to nymphing and put a PS #18 on front trailed by a midge larva #18. Proceed to catch a number of fish - probably 7-9 or so - nearly all took the midge. I recall one that ate the PS.
It was fairly slow. Okay. The fish were where they should have been I guess. I had one weighty ghost take me way under an ice sheet... pretty cool. Never saw the fish - got off and got gone. Chalk it up to the already-long list of those that got away.
Saw a few midges in the air and on the snow - one was kind enough to sit on my fly line for a minute. The fish were all healthy looking beauties. Two were little rainbows that pounded the nymphs as soon as they hit the water.
I saw one other set of boot tracks, one truck pulling a Bobcat, one flatbed pickup and a couple dozen snowmobilers. So I wasn't in a secret place. Hawk flew overhead though, and the sun shone down.