Started the day as I have the last four years, coffee (gotta be black and strong), gear prep, and watch the airtemp climb from zero to three above. Met up with my usual partner in crime and set off for the destination, no discussion, the spot to do what needed to be done. I had to prove to myself that I was still capable of landing a trout under difficult winter conditions. January 1st never seems to disappoint, two weeks earlier and high air temps were in the 20’s and now we were lucky to get 10 above, that didn’t phase us, I was just glad to have minimal wind. Wind kills on days like this. Cloud cover on arrival, two small nymphs were rigged. First a #18 PT I tied the night before followed by a #20 Miracle nymph with a blue wire rib, both took fish. Low, concerning water levels will continue through out the winter season and most likely much of the year if not the whole year. Despite those conditions the pellet fed rainbows took to the small nymphs with a surprising level of aggression, normally I’m questioning the strike this time of year but not today. No indicator nymphing worked very well, fish hit, hooks were set and back to the creek they went. One after the next for a couple hours, pretty nice to know I can still land a fish between picking ice out of my guides. Hope some of you got out on the 1st.

Post Script: This post was written on the 3rd but due to lack of time and technical difficulties is going up WAY past it’s expiration date.


  1. Better late than never. I read through some of your previous winter postings about a month ago and tied up some miracle nymphs of my own. I’m hoping to give them a shot out on the Gallatin near Big Sky Montana this week where I am going for a ski/fishing trip. Keep up the good work!

  2. Expiration? lol. happy that you figured out the changes to the websites back-end. The key point to readers is that there are places where anglers can consistently and successfully angle trout regardless of what the weather or air temps subject the angler to. For us, we have a perfect formula and the willingness to chase trout on day 1 of the season for the simple reward of catching regardless of what the may look like. There is magic in coming home with fishy hands in arctic temps on opener.

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