Snow started falling mid-morning and dusted the trees and paths. Everything looked grey but beautiful, too.
I brought two fly rods: my Thomas and Thomas Contact Nymphing Rod and a dry-fly one. I was hopeful for a strong Winter Caddis hatch.
I started throwing streamers, as Damon Matus’ post really inspired me. It was slow. Fish were not in the fast or slow riffles, at least for me. So, I moved to deeper runs and promptly dropped three fish. They didn’t feel that big, but, it would have been nice to see them.
I put on some nymphs and started to Euro. A grizzled rainbow came to the net. The take was soft, and it fought well. It was loaded with Caddis Pupae.
At this point, amazingly, Damon came up and said hello. I mean, what are the odds?
We chatted a bit about flies, spots and strategy. He graciously invited me to join him at one of his “streamer honey holes,” and I gave him some flies.
I told him I would catch up with him, as I wanted to finish working the run in front of me.
After a few casts, there was another soft take. A really strong fish was on. You know the feeling: excitement and dread that you might lose the trout.
The fish pulled me downriver, and I picked my way towards it, wanting to keep it slightly upriver from me. Side pressure did the trick, and, soon, this 16.5″ post-spawn brown was in the net.
The colors were amazing. The photo doesn’t do justice to the beautiful spots on its side. It took a #20 Rainbow Warrior.
A few fish started to rise sporadically. I retrieved my dry-fly rod and tried my best. Nothing. Still, it was pretty cool to see rises during a snowstorm.
After, I caught up to Damon. He was doing quite well, and I suspect you will see a blog post from him. I don’t know much about streamers, and he patiently answered my many newbie questions.
After a bit, we parted ways. I hit another spot and was blanked. At that point, the snow was really coming down. At 1 pm, I decided I was good to go, reeled up and started the long drive back.
It was slow going on the roads, but, it was so worth it.