Breaking out Cold Weather Gear

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Today, I wore gloves and a neck warmer.  It was the first day of 2016 and it took me a while to locate these.  I didn’t need cold weather gear during November and December.  Call it an anomaly or call it Climate Change, but we experienced record setting warmth this past season.  Heck, I was biking in shorts with my family last week.  Until recently, there hasn’t been much of a need to bundle up for Winter fishing conditions.  IMG_4410Today’s weather forecast called for light flurries, a high of 32 degrees and windy conditions.  It seemed fitting that as the calendar turned to  January, the New Year ushered in a cooling trend.  Due to the wind gusts today, it would have been chilly without the proper gear.  I’m glad that I remembered to check my spare tire compartment for my cold weather gear!

Fishing was unpredictable today.  IMG_4426I took a local high schooler to a new piece of tributary water.  The creek was starting to drop and clear.  We thought conditions looked promising.  Despite rolling one fish on a streamer, we struck out the first few hours.  We dead drifted glo bug patterns and deeply nymphed streamers without success.  Finally, the talented teenager figured out the right combination (Oregon Cheese).  He struck two fish within a few minutes and convinced me to abandon my streamers.  Over an hour period, we enjoyed six hook ups.  It was likely the warmest part of the day and the fish turned on during this period.  It shut down and hour and a half before dusk.  So, we flogged the water more and covered different pools with no further success.  For whatever reason, all of our bites were close to each other and within a relatively short window of time.  That’s not uncommon now that cold weather has arrived.  Often, the best bite will be during the warmest part of the day.

The forecast suggests that Winter has arrived.  Gather your warmest gear, bundle up, be persistent and enjoy tributary fishing.  There’s still post spawn browns hanging around and steelhead to be targeted.  May 2016 be a memorable year for angling and remember to take a kid fishing!

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Craig Dennison

This is Craig and I host Fly Fisher's Workshop. My fly fishing experiences include plenty of travel (Montana/Florida/North Carolina/Maine) and a few years part time guiding for trout. While I primarily target trout and steelhead, I still manage to chase warm water species and enjoy chasing stripers and bluefish. I'm a 3rd generation fly fisher trying to share the passion with my two sons!

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