We have good news for our anglers curious about how our trout and rivers are faring this winter - the river is still there, so are the trout and they still bite flies pretty darn well! Yesterday was my first outing of the season and with a few days of temps in the 40s it seemed like a good idea to go sample the home water.
We floated a stretch in the canyon and had it all to ourselves. The sub-surface bite was on from the get go with water temps peaking at 36.5 degrees in the early afternoon. Fishing the least sexy water we could find was the key - inside bends, deep shelves, winter lies. The juvenile canyon fish of the last couple seasons are growing up and coming into the age class we love - 14-16 inches and full of spunk.
A mid-day squall with some sustained rain made us re-appreciate the wonders of Gore-Tex, and afterwards we settled into a great afternoon of hotspotting and headhunting a few fish eating midges. Winter fishing is all about appreciating the moments when your perseverance aligns with the conditions to be in the right spot at the right time.
Winter is coming back to town this week, so sneaking in a day on the river during this cold season feels like a stolen treat. But the days are getting longer, within a few weeks we will be on the river in earnest, and we have established that our fishy friends will be there to meet us for some fun - mission accomplished.