December 24, 2016

A Little Post-Solstice Fishing

After a month of not really being to get onto the water, I was able to do a little fishing. It felt great. I fished for a total of 90 minutes; the water temperature was 34° F and the air temperature was 32° F.

I decided to fish a stretch of stream that I knew well. I pretty much knew where each of the fish would be. The only thing I didn't know was what species of trout would be at each spot, brown or cutthroat.

This time of year, when ice has formed on the side of the stream, I have found that the trout hold in very shallow water right under the ledges of ice. I generally fish beadhead pattern in winter, as many of the trout hold tightly against the stream bottom as well, but casting these heavier flies into shallow water takes some adjustment. The splash of the beadhead seems to get the fish's attention and then, if you can keep the fly from snagging the bottom, you will see the trout dart out from under the ice to take your fly.

For this outing I used my Nissin Royal Stage 360 7:3. I like this rod for faster waters that have the potential for larger fish. I didn't catch anything very big the other day, 14 inches being the biggest, but it's the current speed that dictates what rod I'll fish on any given day. I can handle any trout in slow water with pretty much any rod, but in fast water, that's a different story. I like a rod that will give me some effective leverage. The Royal Stage 360 7:3 does just that.

I like this rod more than the Zerosum 360 7:3. They feel pretty much identical, except that the Royal Stage is just a hair beefier. I also like the longer handle. It gives me more grip positions when the casting gets challenging. It's just a great rod.

I caught browns and cutthroats, but no whitefish. I saw a few big whitefish; they are what I gear up for in winter. A large mountain whitefish can really tax you rod and your fish fighting skills, especially in fast water. I like catching them, but they fight differently than trout do.

Anyway, I had a lovely time, and I look forward to getting back out on the water as soon as I can.

Here's a basic video of some of the fish I caught. No music, no entertainment value, just a vlog of the trip:

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all. I hope this coming year sees you fishing more. Hey, maybe we can fish together sometime!

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