Sunday, February 2, 2014

Cold and Fishless

I was hoping that the one day above freezing temperatures would be good for fishing. I knew the water was going to be cold but this river is a tail race and the consistent generation of water keeps the river from freezing over. When we parked the sun was on us and you could hear the sound of snow slowly melting. Once we worked into the canyon and moved into the shade the temp dropped considerably.
Huge chunks of ice lined the banks and water was melting deep under the ice. You could hear and see water dripping around the rocks. In certain places there were veins of air and water that you could see through the ice. The air bubbles in the running veins looked almost like bugs. The river was clear and the water levels were great for fishing.
The last time I fished this river I would see fish spook every 100yds or so. On this day I saw nothing. No flashes, rises or any signs of life. There were caddis and stone flies fluttering here and there but no indication that anything was chasing them. The river seemed dead. Usually when you fish a river you see minnows or suckers. This river doesn't seem to have any of those fish. There are only trout. The trick is finding them. My guess is they went downstream to find warmer water. When it gets warmer I'm sure they'll be back and so will I.


  1. Kevin
    The Smith is one place I would find my way back to; this place looks like it would house some nice trout. Are there browns here? There are some features in this tailrace that mirror the one I fish here. Dries or nymphs, which are your preference here? Thanks for sharing

    1. There are browns and bows. The type of flies you use depend on the day. It was weird not seeing any fish at all. Usually you see something. It does have great features for trout but there isn't enough food in the water to increase fish size. The river has a lot of fish but the average size is 8-10inches.

  2. Cold and Fishless, versus, Warm and Tying Flies. A day on the water is special rather we catch any fish at all. You made the right choice.

  3. At least you had some nice water to do some casting on. Yesterday, with the temps breaking 32, I went out to the headwaters and found them blanketed by ice and snow (no surprise). The scouting made the trip worthwhile.

  4. Hey buddy, I was quite comfortable reading this in my heated den.