Fishing in Winter

Fly fishing in winter isn’t for everyone. The wind, cold and rain can be punishing. It is why few do it, as more rational anglers stay indoors.

But, the landscape is hauntingly beautiful, and the river is devoid of people. The stillness in the air is almost ominous, as the birds and bugs are gone. And, the trout, though few, can be very large.

Landing fish is challenging, and you’re lucky to find even one. They hide out during the winter to conserve their energy. They’re lethargic in the frigid water. You have to put a fly on an unseen fish’s nose during very cold days.

Yesterday, a fishing buddy and I headed out. I’m lucky to be part of a tight group of anglers. We meet up periodically to fish. They’re great guys, mostly in their 20s and 30s. I’m The Old Man in the group.

I manage to land a few fish in the 38 °F water, with one nearly 20″. It was a female brown trout that recently finished spawning. It took a new fly I had made. In the right-most photo below, you can see a small white fly on the fish’s lip.

It ended up being a 13-hour door-to-door outing to land just three fish. But, it was well worth it.

My heart felt incredibly full. Our bodies and minds are designed to be outside and to interact with others. Our fate is not to sit in front of electronic devices all day and every day, with ads trying to get us to buy things we don’t need.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend.

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