For those of you wondering if I’m still alive trust me I am. Just happen to get caught up in a backyard marriage, the start of school and continuing my day job. I also upped the number of hours I spend on my bike to prepare for cycling races and the reality of life is there are only so many hours in a day. If your wondering if I forgot how to catch a trout I assure you I have not and with that my brief acknowledgement of my absence is over, onto the reason why I do this. January 2015 so far: Wow, new reg changes in Southeast Minnesota have opened all designated trout creeks to winter angling and the barbless requirement is out (I’m still pinching my barbs, its easier to get the fish back in the creek quickly). I’ve been dreaming of fishing all the creeks in the winter from the first time I hiked through thigh high snow during my first winter season. For those of you who know me you know that winter season is my favorite and as a result being able to choose any location has truly lit a fire in me.
I’ve been out a handful of time and caught fish everytime. The snow pack is minimal so getting around has been fairly easy with no snow shoes required. The airtemps have been decent facilitating open creeks in most of the tight valleys I’ve fished this season with minimal ice shelving noted. Water temps have been up and so have the bugs. The first day I set foot on a creek this season (January 1st) I watching rising trout around 11am and saw the first signs of midge activity on the banks around 12pm. Fish have been nailing #14-18 orange scuds and pink squirrels with rash abandonment, basically the usual winter activity. I’ve managed a couple on a streamer this season as well but all were smaller in the 10-12inch range. All in all things are looking very good around here for winter angling. Haven’t seen a single other angler while fishing this season so far except for the guy I keep bringing with me.
A friend of mine for quite a while, Ryan, puts up with me pretty well and has the patience and desire to be a fly angler. I’m a shitty teacher but I know enough and despite his first day on the creek yielding no trout to hand he did learn to roll cast well enough. Yesterday saw us working on casting a single fly nymph rig with an indicator to get a Pink Safety fly to trout five feet down in a deep plunge pool. I’m a jerk and would holler out “Wiper” everytime I watched him break his wrist and put the rod tip lower than it should be. “Fast to a stop…Fast to a stop…” And he put up with it. Not more than an hour into the day yesterday and he is fumbling with his line kind of looking at me like….”What the hell do I do now that I got one?” I helped land the first fish. The second was all him. I’m a I’ll show you once so you’d better pay attention kind of guy, the next time you’re on your own. I’m not a mean guy just one who values self sufficiency. Not bad for a guy who’s only held a fly rod twice and both have been in less than 25degrees air temp. Fly fishing isn’t the easiest thing to pick up let alone when you can’t feel your fingers most of the time and your guides are freezing up every fifth cast. So short post to start the year, hope some of you are still out there and sticking with me. I understand being frustrated with a lack of content, I would be too. No guarantees on what you’ll get from me over the next few months as I’ll be continuing a rigorous school, work and bike schedule but I promise you I’ll be near a trout from time to time. My sanity is tied to salmonids.