Sunday, December 4, 2011

Early Winters

December 1st marked my first real day of chasing Winter Steelhead. Had dinner and a few drinks with some friends the night before then headed home early in the morning, setting my alarm before I headed to bed. Waking up from REM sleep was a blurr and the next thing I new it was almost noon. Well shit, typical motivation and not remembering that I turned the alarm off, I started heading out the door, but before I made it down that steps I flipped a uie. I ended up tying some flies and got some shit done around the house. Typical, I can't ever get motivated to fish for early winters, much less those Chambers Creek retarded hatchery fish that show up this time of year.

This early returning strain of midget winters have fed hatchery rivers throughout Washington for years. This is the same strain that the Elwah tribe decided was a good idea to introduce to the Elwah now that the dams are gone. These fish are not known for great fights, being good biters, being large or having many fins when they arrive back at their native streams. Still when Rome, follow the Romans or dig into the American Commercialized version of Christmas. Trampling people at the department store can be fun too.

Day two was a little different. After picking up Dr Bill on the long drive to the river we were greeted with way too many people in the dark. Still we were there and if anything it had been a while since I got out. After a few hours with nothing to show for it, I cut off that damn indicator. I just have a hard time getting into nymphing after swinging flies all summer and fall. With a Echo Ion and an Airflo Six Sense (The best nymphing line for those who use spey casts!!!), I didn't have a tip small enough for this mini Delta to turn over, so I pulled out the cheap tip. You know, a split shot. Seriously a few casts later I was into my first fish on a caballero. One of them micro chromers that fought better then the other fish I tangled with that day.

Dr Bill continued to nymph, picking up his first of the year as well. He brought his lab Rocky with him and that dog doesn't like fish. It was funny as hell to see and chased every fish he saw. It was probably detrimental to our fishing, but hell, who cares, when your number is up, its up.

Wish we had Chums to chase like these down here. It was nice to see a few of them still around though they will not be around for long.


masu said...

Great report! Mike,

those are wonderful technical notes... love the cheap sinktip! : )


Awesome report, Mike

I agree!
The hatchery created more problems than solution. Not a big fan of them... Mark

mike doughty said...

i feel your pain mike, i don't fish near enough either