The Longest Fall

And, finally, there was snow.  Not much of it, and wet like November snow.  As one fellow said in the shop this past week, this is the longest fall I can remember and I thought, my goodness, he’s right.  There has been no winter.  Even the Christmas Bomb Cyclone or whatever silly name they gave that storm was nothing more than a cold snap.  It’s now the middle of January and one must avoid looking at the calendar, because then February might be underestimated, and February should never be underestimated.  This long fall has sure made the installation of log jams much easier.  Louie’s to Keystone is getting some much needed work done.

The rivers are pretty low and pretty clear, and the trout are doing typically January things.  Some nice trout have been caught this past week but overall I’d say the fishing has slowed down.  Normally the winter angler waits for a mini-warmup and hits the water armed with confidence.  This winter, all the days have kind of been warm and fishy, and so the moods of the trout have seemed detached from the weather.  All this is to say:  the access is easy, and there are some trout to be caught.  It seems that there are some nice rainbows in the river right now.  Lance caught this one a few days ago.

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Just a perfect trout

The nymph angler should think sparse and slim, and the streamer angler will do well with black though dirty-yellow can be good on the right day and olive and white right at dusk is usually best.  In the winter, I find a lot of trout on the inside drop-offs which, when the water is clear, means you do a lot of nymph fishing from your knees.   You can ruin a whole pool awfully quickly by underestimating the trout.  When the water gets dirtier, well, you can practically catch them right off your feet.  But not now.  January is kind of like August.  It’s fine, delicate fishing.  Even the streamer angler needs to have a little quieter hand than in March or April.  Nothing is really grip and rip it fishing right now.  Move yourself in a slow and steady way, move your fly in a slow and steady way, and you’ll probably do just fine.

We had a great turnout for our Saturday Fly Tying Session this past Saturday!  I only got to swing by due to an out-of-town trip, but everyone was having a blast and cranking bugs and that’s what it’s all about.  I went to the store, purchased a few more lamps and extension cords, and we’re ready to go again this weekend.  Want to tie flies with us?  If you’ve never tied a fly, or tied a 100,000, stop in.  Bring what you have and we’ll provide the rest.  More info is available at Free Fly Tying Saturdays.

You can even make a weekend out of it — we have rooms available and we’re serving dinners on Friday and Saturday evenings.  Come enjoy the snowy river, now that we got a little snow!

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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.

-Dinners on Friday and Saturday evenings.

-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.

-Excellent cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in every direction like here and here. 

To book a stay, contact me at [email protected]

Previous Fishing Reports

The Return of Henry

On February 23, 2021, I caught a giant trout from the Fence Run in front of the lodge.  This, I figured, was Henry.  Now there have been a lot of

Read More »


  It has been dreary.  What snow we have left is raising as fog, which after weeks of it, can quickly turn into a fugue.  This means that there has

Read More »

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