December 5, 2018 - Warmth on the Horizon
Not much has changed over the past week, other than the good rain we had on Saturday night. Our rivers have come up and are starting to level out. Fishing has been pretty good, but overall, still tough. Steelhead are around, and are shuffling from that rain/melt we had over the weekend and settling into the standard holes. Sounds like many of them are still podded up. The type of thing where you fish a bunch different spots all day, then stumble into a pod and hook 4 or 5 out of one pool, sometimes more. The trick is finding that pod.
Even though we are in the midst of a cold spell, it actually looks like the next month or so will bring "above average" air temps. Not sure how much faith I put in weather forecasts anymore, but hopefully they are right, because we could use a mild winter.
The steelhead almost always prefer those sunny, balmy winter days. Sunlight is a huge factor in the middle of winter, because nothing else will warm the water like a prolonged sunny day. Allowing the sun to bring the water temp up 2 or 3 degrees can open a bite window at the VERY end of the day. I used to fish on Christmas Eve every year for a few hours at dusk. Without fail, I would always hook fish just as I started to lose sight of my float. So next time you're out, fish till the very last second of daylight.
Eggs in pale pinks and pale oranges have been good. Stoneflies and Pheasant Tails are great. Winter is when the almighty Hex nymph really shines. Hexes are naturally large, and are easily imitated with lots of natural and synthetic materials. The pulsating motion they are famous for is easily recreated with marabou, bunny strips, pheasant plumes, rubber legs, wiggle dub, etc etc. Steelhead really love the subtle motion these materials provide. A must have for any serious steelheader.
Tonight (Dec 5th) we are we are having Open Vise Night in GR. Pretty simple, just show up, hang out and tie whatever you want. It's a good way to meet new friends, bounce ideas off each other, and get out of the house. Bring a buddy and BYOB. Check out our full class lineup HERE.
Things should improve, especially if we get that warmup next week. Honestly, things couldn't get much slower than they are right now, so any change is welcome at this point. This Spring will probably be outstanding.
Also, if you haven't seen the Switchback Belt System from Fishpond, you should check it out. This system is long overdue, and frankly, quite brilliant. It solves a lot of the problems waist packs sometimes have, and does so very elegantly. The pack slides along a secondary waistband, allowing you to easily access it, then slide it out of the way when you're not using it. The backside has a sleek, low profile net holster. A really nice product from Fishpond, and at $99.95, it's an easy choice to make. Smart stuff!
Thanks for all the support at the shop! See you out there!
Here's a short tying video of the HiVis Shiner. Easy to tie, easy to fish, color combos are endless.