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nvr2L8 02-03-2012 10:22 PM

Got out to Fish
I managed to get out for a day of fishing on Tuesday, January 31. My calendar cleared at work, the temp was supposed to be in the low 60's and rain was on the way to swell the creeks more than they already were. So it seemed like all the stars had aligned for a January fishing day. I've come not to expect a lot from a fishing day in mid-winter but it beats sitting around dreaming about spring hatches.

So I took off to Sams Creek. I had caught a brookie on Road Prong back in December and thought I'd try my hand at getting another winter brookie. To get to where I wanted to start fishing is about a one-hour walk. That walk in waders can take a little steam out of you before you even hit the water. So I took a little break for some water and a bag of almonds to fuel the furnace. While I was snacking, I decided to check the water temp and it was a brisk 38 degrees. Not exactly ideal but I was not to be deterred.

With the water as cold as it was, I decided nymphs were going to be my best bet so I tied a nymph dropper onto a yellow stimulater - figured something big and buoyant was in order even if it wasn't a winter-time dry. Well, shortly after I started, I saw a nice brookie come up after the stimulator and never got the first bit of action on the nymph. So I ditched the nymph and switched over to a blue wing olive (not the parachute or hi-viz variety so it was a bit of a challenge to track in the water).

While the rises were few and far between, I did have a nice brookie come to the surface drag my fly down to the bottom of a pool and then shake it loose before I could get a good set on it. Finally, I did get one to take the fly and managed to get it to hand. It was the only catch of the day but getting even one with the water that cold was a victory in my book.

Started dreaming of getting a one brookie per month streak going with the two toughest months out of the way. Maybe so, maybe not but regardless, it was a fun day. By the time I hiked back out in the waders, I was pretty well spent but definitely a happy guy.

Knik 02-03-2012 11:54 PM

Good read Charlie, thanks for sharing.

I was wondering how most of your strikes come on winter specks. The reason I ask, is because the ones I caught last winter seemed to just roll up on their sides and take the fly, instead of the usual summer time "smack".... for a lack of better words. Haven't tried them this winter yet, but hope to get out tomorrow and give it a try.

Thanks again for a good report. :smile:

nvr2L8 02-04-2012 08:52 AM


The ones that I saw came up from the bottom for a straight-up strike but seemingly in slow motion. The one that I actually brought to hand I didn't even see strike - it was in some riffles and it was tugging on the line before I knew it was even there.

tnflyfisher 02-04-2012 10:26 AM

You must have been reading my mind... I was just wondering what the temps might be up on Sams and now I know. Nice to see that you did have some action even with the cold water. I was really thinking about this weekend with this warm streak we have been experiencing. Thanks for the scouting report!

Tight Lines,

buzzmcmanus 02-04-2012 12:09 PM


Originally Posted by nvr2L8 (Post 98400)
...The ones that I saw came up from the bottom for a straight-up strike but seemingly in slow motion......

I had similar experiences while fishing for brookies last weekend. I started with a big, bouyant dry with a heavy beadhead pheasant tail beneath it. I figured I would catch all my fish on the nymph, but after having to untangle the dropper from the first 4 fish I caught, which all took the dry, I cut the dropper off. All strikes were slow and deliberat (sp) with the fish coming straight up from the bottom.

Thanks for making the report.

Owl 02-13-2012 02:00 PM

This is super interesting to me. I have always been the worst winter-weather fisherman. I just can't seem to get anything (in a trout stream that's not DH) to bite. Last week I saw an amazing video shot in Feb. (this year, right now) of a guy landing some nice wild brown trout on nymphs. I'm not sure I have the motivation to chase fish in small wild streams anymore - so I appreciate the reports about your success! Getting outside sure makes winter a little easier to take - even a mild winter like we're having this year.

flyman 02-14-2012 01:57 AM

We have had one of the mildest winters that I can remember. I'm sure there are more bugs that have remained active, and the warmer than usual water temps have kept the fish actively feeding.

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