Sit back after a day of work, two hours of quality trout angling, a 5.4 mile run at a pace of 7 min/mile with a glass of red wine, Faded From Winter on the radio and try not to smile. Try not to feel like you’ve got everything the world has to offer in the palm of your hand when you smack winter across the face for keeping you on the treadmill for months on end…Faded. Think of all the miles I’ve ridden on the bike trainer staring out my window at snow drifts six feet deep, god damn harsh winter…Faded. After today I couldn’t feel better if I had fentanyl in my veins.
While the rest of the state got more winter in the form of snow and freezing rain my little corner was spared. The weather was basically perfect minus the sunshine we are all missing, the little we’ve seen hasn’t been nearly enough to bring the scales back into balance. I figured out a way to shift things around to take advantage of two hours on the creek the way a friend of mine did the day prior under much harsher conditions. I was spared the wind and the cold, he was not. I was granted midge, warm water temps and hands that didn’t mind tying knots on thin tippet.
Water temp at 1pm was 44°F and midge were everywhere, on the banks, on the creek surface and generally fluttering around. Trout were rising on selective runs. Water was clear, I was fishing a heavily spring laden headwaters area which I knew would insulate me and the fish from the cooler water temps felt in other area. I’ve gotten reports that some of the larger watersheds are cool (35-40°F) and fairly turbid. I’ve not heard of anything that is unfishable as of yet. If the area gets any predicted rain tonight tomorrow might be a different story on that front. Plenty of ice still lines the banks, evidence that this winter is going to be around for a while yet. The color green is peeking through in select places and it’s a welcome sign. Soon to be followed by wildflowers, BWO’s and Morels. At 3pm the creek was temping out at 47°F. The #18GG took a handful of robust cherub resembling brown trout. Start working a streamer into your selection. The feedbags are on when the water temps are warmer, active hungry trout will find the big boys chasing flies down. I didn’t do as well as the guy who fished in the cold yesterday but I managed a couple very respectable trout on my streamers.