low flows and bright fish
While it has been a while since I've been able to get out and wet a line, but life has been pretty good. I had to cancel the Thompson because the wife and kids got sick the day I was going to leave. But one must be a husband and father before a steelheader. It's December and I see the sun shining almost everyday in the Northwest. The kids can still bundle up and play outside and come in dry and without muddy shoes.
The rivers are low but be assured there are good numbers of bright fish. I've taken the liberty of canceling a couple meetings in the last week. Outing one, I took a drive up to a small piece of water not far away only a trickle by some standards and with the lack of rain it is a trickle. Even with the low winter sun the low flows and warm temperature allowed the water to work it way up to 47 degrees, down right scorching for early December.
I surveyed water I fished in the previous spring and the fall, selected a run and worked out a #2 spey skunk which just looked right. Working into a relaxing tempo a 60-70 foot cast was all that was required from the 8wt two hander. A small jack came to the skunk aggressively again and again until he was release. Two more casts my line tightend as a bright winter fish hammered the skunk with reckless abandon, it ran thru the tail out of the pool and was gone (I've never had a fish leave a pool like this). Without question this was the hottest initial run I have ever experienced. The only fish to ever come close was my big Thompson hen. What a way to start the season I only hope this starts a trend for all.
RE:low flows and bright fish
Andre - I relive my days in the pacific northwest vicariously through such posts! I remember how privileged I felt being able to walk a trail to a stretch of glacial river just minutes from my home. One of the biggest steelhead I ever hooked was probably 7 miles from my former home, a big native March fish in the lower river just past tidewater. I didn't land it either.
I look forward to the next time I swing a fly in water where a silver missle might be...
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