Well, the winter thaw that we anglers hopped for happened but I think it was a little too short and too sweet.
The near record snow pack we had coupled with the wind, rain and temperatures in the 50’s has brought water levels way-up. Sadly, too much run-off and rain for good fishing in the immediate near future, however this increase in flow will blow out the shelf ice that has been building along the river banks as well as the some of the lower sections of rivers completely covered which should encourage some new fish to enter our rivers. Fish already existing in the river prior to the thaw have just been redistributed.
If you get out, be careful of the high water and ice flows. It should take a good number of days for the high and dirty to return to more stable levels and closer to ideal conditions. Those who can’t wait – get out and target the slower flowing, deeper holes – think spring steelhead pre-spawn high water conditions and you should find fish in those same areas. Try the inside slots which will provide a bit of refuge from the high flows and the dirty water will make them feel a little more comfortable in the shallow water. Now can be a good time to target fish with larger streamers (large profile, lots ‘o flash) swung on sink-tips.
The Northern Angler is moving! We will be closed on December 31st and will re-open on January 7th. You can find us at 803 W. Front St. which is a block and a half west of Division (US-31/37). The new store will have free parking in the back as well as additional floor space and a classroom for our tying classes starting in January. Stop on in and see us!