Inconsistent...That is probably the best way to sum up our winter so far, in regards to the weather and the fishing. When winter finally set in, it came with vengeance. A lot of early snowfall and prolonged arctic like temperatures had us thinking we were going to be in for a long, hard winter. For much of December finding open, safe, and fishable water in our area was most of the battle. There was a lot of time spent trying to fight off the cabin fever by tying flies and sippin' whiskey.

Fast forward to the last couple of weeks and the thermometer has been a roller coaster. We have been going from warm ups, with temps getting into the 40's accompanied by some rain for a few days, and then dropping back down with high temps in the teen's for a few days....then repeat. While the warm stints have cleared our rivers of the majority of the ice, like the weather, the fishing has been inconsistent. Some days are producing nice trout and hold over steelhead, others producing nothing but cold fingers and icy guides. Winter fishing is all about slowing your roll. If nymphing, target the slower and deeper runs and holes, where fish are likely to be holding this time of year. Fish them thoroughly and be sure you're getting your fly down to the fish, as they prefer not to move much for a meal right now.  If fishing streamers, opt for smaller flies and slow presentations. Fishing the warm up days is ideal, as it will get both fish and insects they dine on moving. With Friday's high of 47deg and Saturday's of 40deg, this weekend should be a great time to hit the river. 

That is not to say the cold spells cannot be productive. Unfortunately my days off have not lined up favorably with the thaws, and I have been forced to fish colder days in between. I spent a few afternoons this past week on the water, and while the fishing was rather slow, I never saw another angler. The solitude and serenity of the river in the winter is unmatched, and is more than enough to motivate me to wader up and wet a line. I did manage a few small trout on nymphs, as well as a Coho that followed a swing fly from bank to bank and inhaled it on the hang. More than enough to make me happy on a cold January day.

We have other ways for you to battle your cabin fever as well. On Saturday, February 3rd we will be hosting the 2018 Fly Fishing Film Tour. The show will be at Boyne Mountain Resort in the Vienna A conference room. Doors open at 6pm and the show will start at 7pm. Tickets can be purchased at Boyne Outfitters, at flyfilmtour.com, or at the door on the day of the show. Also join us for our next Tie-One-On night on Tuesday, February 6th.

Cheers

-Andrew