Last summer on our way back from fishmasters (a weekend where all of the guides from Sasquatch Fly Fishing head south to camp out and fish) the two guys I was riding with and I decided to make a pit stop on a new river that none of us had fished before. We found a beautiful stretch of water and a number of fish willing to take a stonefly nymph or small rs2. We also saw a number of big fish. I knew we had to go back after at some point… today was the day.
I did a bunch of online searching earlier in the week and found that this river has a fair amount of public water. I picked out a few longer stretches that I could cover some ground with streamers. Around 10 AM Tuesday morning I had my waders, coat, and gloves on ready to battle the mid-teens temps and I made my way down a steep embankment to the river. This freestone was showing the effects of cold days prior to my arrival and there was a considerable amount of ice shelves reaching out across the river as well as slush floating through the rapids. I tied on a fix and went to work trying to pick apart the holes and deeper runs where I figured fish would be sitting on a cold winter morning.
After covering a few promising looking spots I noticed a fish following close behind my streamer. I accelerated the pace of the fly then paused it for a second before twitching it forward with the tip of my rod. Like clockwork the colored up brown aggressively took a strike at the fly and he connected with the hook. After a hard fight he rested in my net and I could get a good look at the largest fish I have landed so far in 2019.
I was pretty pumped to be on the board. I continued to make my way upstream and as the day warmed up I began to have more follows and hooked into a few more decent fish.
After fishing the first section to where the public water turned private I drove downstream and hit a few more spots. I found a lot more completely frozen over water than I would have liked to have seen but I did find a few fishable spots and caught a few more fish before the day ended. The mid-morning streamer bite around 10-11 am was definitely the best fishing of the day though.
I can’t wait to get back onto this river in the summer and explore more of what it has to offer.