This has been the warmest winter in memory. Christmas Eve I was fishing in my shorts for gills using poppers.
Over the weekend it was so warm I was able to wet wade a brookie stream. It felt strange to not have to break out my waders in late December.
The water was high but the fish were very active.
I can't recall ever seeing rainbows with such pretty red stripes on them. All of the bows over 6inches had this. The coloring was beautiful and the picture doesn't do the color justice. The high water made the fish move to calmer pools. One pool in particular had a brookie hanging out in about 4inches of water. This wild brookie was the largest I had seen in quite some time. I thought maybe something was wrong with the fish because of how out in the open it was. I cast my nymph behind and to the right. I went to pull the flies up to make another cast and the fish turned and chased the flies almost hitting them as they came out of the water. I thought maybe I missed my chance, I cast near the fish again. I didn't see the take but I knew where my flies were and saw the fish make a slash. I set the hook and my line instantly wrapped around a downed limb. I was using 6x and tried to free the line without snapping it. I was able to untangle the line by taking the limb out of the water.
The fish wasn't that colorful but it was really good size for this stream. These fish must be really confused usually the sides of this stream are lined with ice around now.