Monday, January 25, 2016

Flyfishing Below Freezing

I've often looked at photos of folks steelhead fishing in "cold" weather.  They're usually standing under overcast skies, soaked with rain, and generally looking chilled.  Having never fished for steelhead (yet!), I've often wondered if it would be worth it, and how I'd hold up to the colder temps, versus the warm summer days I'm usually fishing.

A window opened for me to finally try winter flyfishing this past weekend.  The 2.5 kids and their mom all had plans on Saturday.  The daily highs in most of Minnesota had ranged from below zero (Fahrenheit) to the mid-teens for most of Januray.  They'd finally break into the 20's F on Saturday.  "Warm enough to scratch the itch," I said to myself, thinking back to how jealous I was of fisherfolk I'd seen on the Missouri River in Montana the previous weekend.

In a true expression of my ambition, I overslept an hour Saturday morning.  Coffee was brewed, gear tossed into the all-wheel drive SUV, and I made the 3 hour drive from my home in central Minnesota to the southeastern "Driftless Region."  A quick stop in Chatfield, then a short drive to Trout Run Creek.  Another SUV was already parked, but the only thing moving was the water.  I'd been concerned about ice, given the somewhat prolonged period of temperatures near zero F.  Yet I found this spring-fed creek with only a little "shelf-ice" on each side in most places.  Definitely fishable, and not too dangerous.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Getting Back Into Rhythm

Just got back from a quick, non-fishing weekend trip to Montana.  Spent the night near Craig and had dinner with Joe and Lindsay Bloomquist of the Missouri River Lodge.  My wonderful wife booked me a spring trip in mid-April, hoping for a repeat of last year's April awesomeness!  Got really confused (and slightly jealous) seeing 15-20 humans compressed into very close proximity on one tiny stretch of the Missouri River just north of Craig.  Almost nobody anywhere else on the Mo'.  Huh?

Visited Blackfoot River Outfitters in Missoula, as my wife insisted I carry a wading staff now.  She's wise.  BRO is having their spring sale March 5th.  20% off a Helios 2 is damn temping, especially after I got to use one in 6 weight on the Big Horn River this past September.

Time to start writing again, and maybe consider a winter trip down to some little creeks in the Driftless down in SE MN.  I might wait until the daily high temperatures get back up into the 20's.

More soon.  We hope.