River Report 2/5/2020
You never quite know how the rivers look this time of year till you bundle up and commit a few hours for an adventure.
Many of the local rivers that have USGS water levels just read “ice”. Unless we just had a thaw that’s mostly how the rivers will look. Very icy! Many of the familiar spots are totally covered over but downriver of a waterfall sometimes there is just enough moving water to have fishable spots.
Today I brought 50 new flies that Fulling Mill sent me and a new Orvis Recon 10’ 5wt. out for a walk along some of my favorite streams that are legally open for fishing right now. Remember to check before you go if you are unsure and also to get a current fishing license.
Everything was super low, gin clear and iced up pretty bad. Totally different since the last time I got out in mid-January! Back then we had just had nearly 2” of rain with lots of snowmelt. So the brooks were high but dropping and totally free of ice. The fishing was great and I ended up landing 4 in a few hours.
My first spot I tied on a mini Black Leech Jig fly. I dropped off a Black/Blue Copper John. I decided to go small and no indicator. Right off I hooked a nice fish on the Leech. Boom got a February Trout! Several casts later I hooked a much bigger fish on the nymph. I chased it around a bit but it went under an ice shelf and my leader got all tangled in the ice. I freed it a few long seconds later but the fish was gone. I walked up a bit to the next waterfall that had open water under it. Nothing bit but it looked wonderful. Went back to the first hole and caught another nice small wild Brown on the Copper John.
By now I was chilled and ready to warm up and drive to another spot. The car said it was 27 degrees but it felt a tad cooler. I definitely had frozen hands after releasing a few fish and was dealing with ice in my fly rod guides especially the tip.
Decided to keep fishing the same flies and right off landed a pretty Brook Trout. First one of 2020 for me! It pounded that same Leech. I gave the hole a few minutes and started dredging it again and I caught a Rainbow on the nymph.
So all in all a great day on the river. Ended up catching the cycle (Browns, Bows and Brookies in the same day) and got to try out some new flies. Funny how I brought a few dozen and only used a few the entire time though. Sometimes I switch the fly after every fish I catch but when it’s cold I tend to only switch after a bad tangle or the water conditions call for a different selection.
Looking ahead the rivers will continue to freeze and below with great clarity. I don’t see any big rainstorms or warm temps in the next 10 days. In fact, starting tomorrow till Saturday we could get over a foot of snow and have super cold weather during the weekend. Early next week some afternoons will be just above freezing so all in all pretty much average Winter conditions.
Be safe and stay warm! We also have some new Hats, T-shirts, and hoodies for sale! Hit us up for some and we’re booking trips for the upcoming Summer so if you have a certain date in mind get a hold of us.