- Perception Is Reality (I felt cold…I was cold…)
- 18°F and low to moderate wind.
- Sunny Skies
- Clear and Low Water
- Fish were sluggish.
Just a brief note regarding a couple hours I spent swinging at browns on a popular stretch of water in Winona Co. It has been a long time since I pulled up to a bridge with a vehicle already parked and decided to fish anyway, I just have other options so I never have to fish with someone else present. I was meeting a reporter for a local paper who wanted to chat about winter trout angling and take a few photos so I opted for the “well known” location which would be evident by his photos. This location also provided an easy hike with no need for him to get wet. I fished a #8 Orange Mane and moved two fish before he arrived, I figured I could pick up one or two fish while he hung out. I was wrong. He showed and we hiked downstream as I tried my best to answer his questions and not come off as an expert or pompous ass. I fished, he took photos and I didn’t catch anything. Trout were sluggish and in deeper water. After he split I finally landed a few fish (of course it would be after he left). Nothing spectacular, just a handful of small browns the biggest pushing 14inches. My main goals were to test out the weight of the pro-type flies I had tied (they could be just a hair heavier but they worked well) and to fulfill the promise I made to answer questions regarding winter fishing. I met the fella in the car parked at the bridge, younger guy and a student at St. Mary’s University. He seemed like the kind of guy I’d get along with, hes out trout fishing between classes…I wish I’d have been into fishing while I was getting my undergrad but I just decided to stay here and never leave. Quickly to comment on my perception of the cold. Despite the lower wind, the sun and the favorable air temperature I was dressed appropriately yet still felt pretty cold towards the end, not sure what that was all about maybe I needed to eat lunch. I split satisfied that I touched a few trout and my new streamer pattern worked, time to tie more and add a bit more weight.