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.