I hate to see a good snow wasted, not only because I enjoy skiing, but also because all that cold snow melting into a river on a warm day is more enticing to the angler than to the trout.  I don’t have nearly enough digits to catalog all the seemingly great thaws that resulted in fishing no greater than I’d expect on the average, sub-freezing, winter day.  Add today to that tally.  Fish were caught on this misty, foggy, snowy winter day…but it wasn’t spectacular and somehow, deep down, I knew it wouldn’t be.  I prefer to fish with optimism.  The winter cliche is that “all it takes is one.”  That’s right.  But if you don’t get that one, sometimes this winter streamer effort can seem a little unfair.  The report today was that it was good in the morning but once the water started to rise, the fishing slowed.

Yesterday was a better day, if only because it was just warm enough to move the trout, and just cold enough to prevent mass run-off.  I fished in front of the lodge, trying out a few nymphs and catching a few trout, while others did really well on streamers.  If I had to pick my ideal winter day, it would be between 28 and 34 degrees, and calm.  Something like yesterday.  Jacob certainly thought it was a good day!

Tonight the weather is supposed to turn again.  The overnight high is a near record 55 degrees…at 6 am.  It’ll be in the twenties by tomorrow night.  The snow will turn into ice if it hasn’t already, and it’ll just be generally nasty until we get more snow to soften the edges.  The flip side is that this weekend and early next week look like some classic winter conditions, and I’m excited to be back in the water after my annual hunting hiatus.  I’ve definitely got some new nymphs that seem to be on the right track toward finding a place in the box, and I’m also excited to work upstream with a streamer fishing the soft edges now that the river is up a bit, and the fish should be pushed to the inside banks.

In the winter, remote fishing occurs anywhere that the winter has made it difficult to access.  This can be a popular access on the Mason Tract that requires, at the very least, an adventurous spirit.  Or the Manistee.  North Branch.  There’s a lot to do on the winter trout stream provided it’s not the depths of the deep freeze.  After all, all it takes is one.  Let me confirm that while it can sound a bit hollow, when you get that bottom of the ninth trout on a late winter afternoon, you realize that it actually does only take one.

We have been busy shipping gifts and are thankful for the orders.  A couple new items have arrived, including…

Jac Ford’s new book (it’s a stunner!). I’ve had the pleasure to fish with Jac several times.  Besides the incredible entertainment and snacks, he’s an absolute wealth of knowledge.  You’ll like this one.

Another great book:  The Optimist.  Somehow these two just go together.

Simms CX Hoody:  Very solid wear-around attire.

While we ship gift certificates old school style, we can also email.  Just let us know if you’d like it mailed or emailed in the comments section of the order.

Check out what we have at www.gatesflyshop.com.  And here is a link to our holiday catalog:  Gates HC 2021 Small

We have our shop phones on 9 am – 9 pm.  If you don’t reach us, leave a message and we’ll call you back.

We’ve got new hoodies and shirts here.