Monday, February 19, 2007

Stones in the Snow (winter trout fishing)

The world seemed to wake up today... it was great to shake off the somewhat oppressive mantle of cold that had persisted basically right up to this morning.

I left the house around 11 AM, intent on walking a stream and nymphing - something I hadn't done for a while. I had a coat pocket full of venison jerky, and I loaded the car with a thermos full of hot coffee, my gear bag and my 4 wt Avid, my Pentax Optio... needed nothing else.
I fished a local stream - no big secret - everybody fishes it... and it was just what I figured it would be: plenty of fish, but all small. They were where they should have been, and they were hitting the nymphs they should have hit... all pretty routine. What made the day was the combination of weather (sun, and no wind), lack of folks around (saw no one), and having plenty of time to slowly walk the stream. The sights were pretty astounding too... I'll let the pictures explain.
It'd been a long time since I fished a small stream... at the first hole my 2-nymph rig ended up in a tree, broken off. I zoomed way in, and you can actually see it, if you look close... look for unnaturally straight lines (the tippet) and a splotch of pink (the pink squirrel).
The stream was dead clear - some stealth was required for sure... but overall, I think that is a bit overdone by the magazines: you don't have to cast 40 feet and crawl on your belly. IMO, if you are quiet and keep a low profile you can actually get pretty close to the fish - particularly in places where they THINK they are safe... those are the best places.
Plecopterans were around.... I paused to take these pics. Two different colors - apparently two different hatches of stones that were approx the same size. If anyone can ID past family, please do. It was really cool to see these little guys running around with much energy despite existing on snow crystals.
Like I said - the fish were abounding, but not exceptionally large. In fact, of the eightI got to hand, four were <6".>
The last pic - check it out - can you ID it?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice! I can't wait to get out on the stream and after this oppressive cold, it sure will feel good.

4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the last pic looks like a porcupine's tail

3:51 PM  
Blogger spilseth said...

J - just spent some time getting caught up on the blog. Well done. Glad to here it's warming up a little. It's weird, but I kind of miss the cold.

5:25 AM  
Blogger Andrew Murray said...

Possum tail!

8:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I've been checking your blog every month or so - Great Stuff! You fly fishermen certainly are a rare breed ;) Keep it up.


10:36 PM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

Andrew is right on - possum tail it is... I know you have seen a number of them up close and personal. This particular possum was hit by a motor vehicle, but the way he lay in the ditch made it look like someone had stuck his face in the snow and smothered him... kind of strange really.

Eric & Greg - thanks for stopping by... I hope you can both get out fishing soon.

Ted - good to hear from you... still waiting for some blog action from CA. Have you played Kobe one-on-one yet?

10:40 PM  
Blogger John Montana said...

good stuff J. i like that creek. it has a nice variety of character.

ted, i was just in LA. stayed in long beach and had meetings all over the area. next time i'm down there i'll try to stay some extra time and we can hang out.

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