2020 Week 3

It seems to be a common theme so far this year that I’m only making it out on the river once a week. It feels weird to say but that’s alright for the time being. There is some fishing close to where I live/work yet it’s a small creek that only has a few ice free holes. Worth fishing however there is no reason to overfish it just to fish. The bigger waters that stay open all winter are a 30-45 minute drive to reach. Not something that I can commit the time or gas money to do more than once or twice a week at the moment. Man I miss the winter Driftless. While I was at college we had 5 different spring fed creeks that ran into town and 50 creeks within a 20 mile radius of campus on the Minnesota side of the Mississippi River alone. There is something to be said about living in a location like that! But Winter Park is an awesome place to spend this winter and I appreciate the times I do make it out on the water.

I did make it out for a short day of fishing on Tuesday. I explored a new section of water in an area that I have been exploring frequently this winter. The fishing was fairly slow but I managed to land a handful of browns and a rainbow with streamers. It was a sunny day with the temps reaching up into the mid 30’s. The wind was whipping though and unfortunately that made things pretty chilly. Winter fishing at its finest. Great day to cover a lot of water and get a feel for this wide, mostly shallow section of river. I fished about a mile of water during my outing from 12-2. After I was done I hiked back to the car, cooked some Ramon noodles, then headed back to town.

On Sunday morning I drove down to Denver to pick up one of my former college roommates and best buddies, Dillan. Last winter while I was living in Denver, Dillan flew out and we spent two days fishing and one day skiing at Winter Park (you can read how that trip went here). This time around we spent 3 days skiing/boarding Winter Park and Steamboat and didn’t fish. Fishing definetly wasn’t necessary for us to have a great time together but we both wished that we would have decided to spend a little time fishing during his stay as we passed the Colorado and Yampa rivers on our way to Steamboat. Next time!

Videos You Should Check Out

Since the start of the new year I have watched some awesome fly fishing related videos that I want to share. Give them a watch!

Resilient Waters – A 5 Rivers Odyssey Story: This video was filmed during the Trout Unlimited Costa 5 Rivers Odyssey this past summer. Their trip explored the Columbia River drainage for five weeks with the mission of acquiring a greater understanding of what has happened to this bygone salmon stronghold. Resilient Waters is a great film that highlights the efforts that are going into rebuilding this ecosystem while at the same time showing how much fun these dudes had during their trip.
The Midnight Mission: This short film shows how a friend uses mousing to get his buddy back into fly fishing. I love mousing and Gilbert Rowley somehow found a way to capture it on film. This film was the winning IF4 film last year and worth a watch!

Modern Nymphing – European Inspired Techniques: Another film by Gilbert Rowley, this instructional video covers the basics of European nymphing. I happened to win a free download of this film during an instagram giveaway so fittingly I took full advantage of it and learned how to elevate my nymphing game.

Summer Haze: This is another film that you have to pay to watch but if you have ever fished in the midwest or have ever had any interest in chasing warm water species on the fly, this is an awesome film that breaks down the incredible fishing opportunities that the upper midwest has to offer. I especially enjoyed “the crash” that happens with smallmouth on the lower Wisconsin river and the musky fishing segments.

Ready To Head North: Last summer two of my good buddies and I headed north after bull trout. We are in the process of planning a 2020 trip to head even further north in search of wild spaces and big, bad, native bullies.

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