Okay, it’s not dry at all really, just snow-less. A week ago I was digging our front porch out of a thigh-deep drift and now we’re bare ground, for the most part, and it looks like it’s going to stay that way. The warm-up came and went and of course people got out fishing and some fish were found. Winter thaws are a treat to the trout angler.
I didn’t fish once between Christmas and New Years. Our annual journey to our homeland (Ohio) was cancelled due to the winter storm, so we hung out at home, kept the shop open, skied, etc. But now that the New Year has come and gone, I made sure to get out today with my friend Tanker for a quick float for that first fish of the New Year.
My first fish of the New Year should have been a 20-inch brown that appeared exactly where I pulled my streamer from the water to start a new cast. That fish was hot. It did a complete fast circle, searching for lost prey, as I tried desperately to halt one cast and start another…one that would send me fly straight down over the side of the boat. The fish spooked, of course, and took with it my dreams for a perfect 2023. Ha! Well, not so fast. Just downriver a trout boiled the surface and so I cast at the disturbance and was rewarded with a foot-long brown. Not redemption. But I think a nice little trout is a good way to start the year.
The river was clear for the first half of the float and dirty for the second half. The clear water fished great. We landed three and lost three. I will swear to you that, by weight, the three landed were half the weight of the three lost. We saw some big fish today. It was awesome. Black was the color, as is often the case this time of year.
The rivers aren’t spring-high, but they are higher than they were, in some areas slightly stained, and fishing as they do in winter. Which is, in a word, okay.
And it is winter, snow or no, and that said, it’s time that we begin our fly-tying year with our first Free Fly Tying Saturday this weekend, January 7th, from 9 am – 12 pm. Yep, click that link for details. We look forward to helping you crank some iron, as some of our young tyers call it.
Winter at Gates Lodge
This January and February, come spend a weekend on the winter river.
–Free Fly Tying Saturdays: Morning sessions to make you a better fly-tyer.
-Light continental breakfasts on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
-Special fly-tying sessions on select Sunday mornings, each week featuring a different style of fly
-Winter guides available, or DIY fly fishing right out the back door.
To book a stay, contact me at [email protected]