Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Trout Opener: January 2, 2012

Fished 1300 - 1600.

Gear List:
8.5' 4 wt Avid
4 wt Rio Windcutter
G. Loomis Adventure 3
pre-tied tandem nymph rigs
equipped lanyard
Simms waders, boots
waterproof winter coat
two pair gloves, for travel only
brand new muffler
nice stocking cap
some oats mixed with PB and chocolate
hot tea
survival kit: matches, lighter, compass, headlamp

This, for going down in the valley. Not a fishing-at-road-crossing deal. Cold, windy day. Headed deep into the valley. Approx 15-18 minute walk from parking place to the water. The lack of snow made the walk relatively easy; but the combination of snowcrust on leaf litter made descent challenging. Couple controlled falls were anticipated and executed.

The fishing report amounts to not much. Not sure exactly what happened here. I talked to one guy who went out on Jan 1 and lit it up pretty good... same water on Jan 2 showed two fish. I like the water I fished and it looked and felt good going in. But hole after hole would come up blank on me. Holes from which I pulled good mobs of fish in 2011. Not today though. Only a few stray, small fish here and there. I figured I'd better take one token picture of the first fish of 2012; it took a while to get a fish to hand and I sensed there would not be many to follow. Fishing unremarkable. Other important notes though:

(1) It was indeed cold and windy. But the armor I set up beat the elements really well. I'd say I was in pretty good condition all along. I came across a coupon for that Gander Mountain hand muffler, so I went and bought it: $12. My initial rating on it is very good to excellent. No gloves while fishing; duck hands into muffler now and then for solid warmth. Recommended.

(2) Gander Mountain fly shop is worthless. I ran out of #1 Dinsmore shot. Messing with a person's split shot is a big deal. It's not as simple as just getting some more; buying another brand or another size. A guy gets used to certain shot. I tried some bogus substitute and it was just garbage. Different size and weight and I had a hard time setting up my rigs. Couldn't take it OFF the tippet, which is a key disadvantage Dinsmore is worth the money.

(3) Yet another found gear item: seat pad out in the woods.

This was essentially an ice-breaker. Hadn't trout fished in Minnesota since September. Needed to get out. The solitude was appreciated. I figured I wouldn't see anyone and did not. At one point watched six bald eagles circling under the moon. Much left to be desired though: finding and catching a pod of trout for example. I suppose that'll happen on next outing, likely on a warmer day.

Most importantly, those valley walls are good medicine. I took a few pics in an attempt to capture how towering they stand. This place has been here for a while. All the dirt went away and the groundwater now flows at the land surface. The trout hold in cold water behind rocks and in bellies and wandering folks can look in after them.