Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Pre-storm Trout Chasin…

Turn on any television station, listen to any radio station or read any electronic media and the Colorado region was inundated with snow forecasts and predictions from four different weather models and a few turned over weather rocks that we were in for a snow storm that was names the Siberian Express.  

Northern Colorado and the Front Range could expect the Siberian express to rumble through and leave 4-12 plus inches of snow on door steps depending on where you were on the express route.  

Prior to the express making an appearance, the weather prognosticators said we were going to have 50 degree weather Friday afternoon with temperatures dropping as the day went on and rain turning to snow by late afternoon all in anticipation of the Siberian Express. Sounded like trout chasin weather to me!

Started the day around noon and stopped by Gib’s Bagel’s in Fort Collins for a sesame seed bagel, light butter and a slab of lox – that’s fancy for salmon! Washed it down with a large coffee and headed north to a small tributary of the Poudre River.  

Overcast skies and the unmistakable smell of wet vegetation sprinkled with a hint of pine welcomed me. Never saw the 50’s the weather rock predicted, no matter, layers were the name of the game.

The water I was fishing was 21 feet wide at its widest point with a classic riffle, run and pool characteristics of a free stone; however, constant water temperatures of a tail water. So many areas of the stream are very reminiscent of water not frequently seen by people let alone fished because of limited access. 

Some areas have the characteristics of an over fished area that fishing paths somehow yell out “this must be the spot” and draw anglers because it is easy or they believe that someone found the magical spot that would ensure fish. 

The water temperature was 40 degrees and flowed at a very peaceful 100cfs.

The rain and snow gently cleansed everything from the canyon walls down to the grasses waiting along the bank for spring. 


Whether I caught fish or not it did not matter, I felt as though I were in a remote wilderness area that had not experienced people.

I fished my 11ft Tenkara Iwana with a 14ft tapered leader. Not traditional Tenkara by any means, especially, since I tied on a #16 bead headed hares ear followed by a #16 ABU. I have enjoyed putting my own flair to the Tenkara rod. I am pretty sure that I am not gonna win any awards from traditional Tenkara fishers, it is not my intent to offend the traditionalists or disrespect the Tenkara tradition, I just do what works for me.


I barely moved in the river and enjoyed every subtle difference it offered; a break in the current, a difference in the run of the bank, any structure above or below the water or any differing currents that came together.   I felt present on the water. I had the opportunity to share my time with some of the rainbows and browns that were not too concerned about the Siberian Express that was heading for the area or the fact that I was not traditionally fishing the Tenkara.

I left the water at 3:00pm and as I walked back to the truck, I couldn't help but feel I was given a small window to enjoy the river before it was covered in a blanket of snow. 

Even though rain, wind, snow, and dropping temperatures were strong indicators that the express was on its way, I knew that the day would go into the fishing log as one of those days that would be remembered anytime I thought of time on a river.


Tips from the Trip: 
Layers: I don’t need to drive home the importance of layers to anyone that spends time fly fishing in the elements; however, any one that is starting their fly fishing adventure and has thought about fly fishing during the winter months should invest in thin, light weight layers to regulate your body temperature.

Wool socks: Good quality thin wool socks are a must in cold water. Smart Wool socks are the brand I prefer.

Dry off your gear: Please don’t overlook unpacking and drying all of your gear! This includes the obvious, boots, waders, jackets, hats and gloves. Some of the not so obvious gear to dry off would include opening fly boxes, rod ferrules, leader holders, and allow your gear system to dry off; whether you use a vest, sling bag, fanny pack or other system for your gear.


Rain jacket: Invest in a quality, breathable Gor-tex rain jacket that is pack-able with a hood and sleeves designed for use on and around the water. Sleeves with inner neoprene cuffs and cuff closures stop cold water from rolling up the sleeves and help trap in warm air to regulate your core temperature.

Gloves: I prefer a thin neoprene glove. The neoprene gloves keep my hands warm even when they are submerged in the water releasing fish. The gloves dry extremely fast, another great feature. As you can see by the image above, I am in need of another pair!

Core Temperature: Listen to your body and don't push through the cold chas’in fish when your body is sending you signs that a cold emergency could be trying to get your attention; specifically, frost bite or hypothermia.

Happy Nymphing!

16 comments:

  1. Ha, when I saw the picture of the gloves above I just figured they were some new high speed type with the fingerprints cut out. I Googled "fiingerprint less gloves"...I think I'm on the FBI's watch list now. Looks like you had a good plan.

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    1. Drew! Sorry I got ya on "the list"! I wish I could tell ya the gloves were intended to look like that; however, I'd be lying! They are just warn out. Now I will give some thought to making my next pair "fingerprint less"! TIght lines and thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Al, thanks for a great post. I really needed to know that someone out here in the local area was getting on the water and playing with some fish. Enjoyed how you laid out the post and the critical tips you offer for winter fishing. Almost, wish I was there...........................

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    1. Mel! Thanks my friend! I wish you where there. Thanks for the constant encouragement, coaching and support! I will continue to try and get out and represent our interest on the water...rain, shine or snow allowing. HAHAHA Looking forward to a 2015 trip!

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  3. Fantastic looking stream with some colorful rainbow, thanks for sharing some handy tips----I envy you having that typo of water to fish.

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    1. Bill! I hope to get you out on the Poudre one day and you can experience the fish first hand. Until then, I will share the places I end up! You will be chasing fish pretty soon and we will still be waiting for the weather to give us a break so I will be the one with envy! Look forward to some gils, smallies and your other adventures! Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. DANG... So good to see this website ALIVE again.

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    1. Thank you brother for all the support and always finding time to stop by! It is a pleasure and thank you for the inspiration get after it! Keep doing what you do and inspiring those to be better than they think they are!

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  5. First off, I'll echo what Cam just said. It's so nice to see NOCO Nympher back in action. Now where did Big Dry Fly go? Great post Al. I enjoyed seeing you out on the water and catching some fish.

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    1. Thank you for all the support my friend! Means the world. I have some catching up to do (pun intended) and it is great to be back! Thank you for all you do and being you! Keep taking care of yourself and we will get on the water soon.

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  6. It's all about nymphing... haha. Great tips and yes, I never leave home without the rain jacket. Even on a sunny day... =)

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    1. I am a little partial to nymphing! Thanks for the comments and stopping by! Been on the river once too often when I needed that jacket and wished I had it! Tightlines!

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  7. Interesting tips and beautiful catches!

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    1. TN! Thanks for stopping by. I really appreciate the comments. The Poudre does hold some beautiful fish!

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  8. Great report! I'm glad you managed to hit the water before the snow and cold hit again. I can't wait to get on the river...it's been too long.

    Nice photos as well!

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    1. BDF! I agree it has been a while but we will make it happen. Thanks for stopping by my friend!

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Thanks for stopping by. Hopefully you found something that interested you. Leave a comment and I'll get back to ya. Happy Nymphing!