Old Man Winter

Ok, so it was cold this morning. How cold, you ask? Really cold. Single-digit-freeze-your-guides-and-line cold. The put-your-hands-in-the-river-and-it-feels-warm kind of cold.

As if all the holiday decorations at the store weren't a big enough clue, the frigid temps and snowstorms we had this past week were a pretty good indication that Old Man winter had silently crept through the backdoor while I wasn't looking. Stoopid non-attentive eyeballs...

Not that cold weather would stop me from fishing - oh no, being about as thick as cement, it doesn't occur to me to stay home - the allure of popping some chubbies trumps what little common sense I do have, regardless of the temps.

Besides, winter has a way of culling the herds, eliminating the fair-weather anglers, which equates to fewer bodies on the water - and this greatly pleases the little anti-social gremlin that lives in my psyche.

For every 2 anglers packing up their gear for the season, there's always a nut-case like me still chugging along with indifference. And I'd venture to guess that some of you are the same way. Freaks.

Lacking common sense, I was at the river's edge at first light - and I was surprised at the water level. This time of year, flows should be down to a Larry-King-at-the-Urinal trickle, minus all of the grunting. However, the water levels were up again, and it was stained to the point that I really couldn't spot much of anything in the low-light conditions.

Not being able to spot targets, I spent the morning blind fishing runs, and managed to pull out a few smaller fish. And by smaller, I mean in the 6-10 inch range. On two of them, I didn't even realize that I had hooked them, so at the end of my drift, I pulled my line to recast and...OOOOPS.....airborne fish.

Yeah, not a good thing. Fortunately, they both survived the G's and their brief role as test pilots.

Actually, it was a smallish kinda day - by the time I left at 1 pm, I had pulled 11 of the little fellas out of the river.

Now, when the sun finally did manage to get up high enough....the clouds moved in. But not before I managed to zero in on several larger tubs in the Ice Box. With the higher flows, however, they were down deep, but they were all active.

So, lobbing some depth charges, I managed to bite into 3 nice subs - all in the 20 inch range. Two of them got lucky and managed to shake the hook after a nice fight, but one of them made it to the net. Oh yeah!

The only downside to an otherwise epic day? Burying a hook into my left index finger, and slicing my right index finger with the 7x. Seriously...that stuff was like a razor - cut clean and deep, and you KNOW it's bad when there's very little blood. Still hurts like hell as I'm typing this.

Not a good day to be an index finger, obviously.

Ah well - it was a great last day in the Canyon for 2010 - the parking lot will be closed for about 8 weeks, so it will be a while before I get to fish it again.

Frying Pan, anyone?


Midge Man said...

Well... At least you beat the ice! Looks like you had a fair day considering the conditions. Throw a little super glue on that line cut and you'll be good as new in a couple of days.

Bigerrfish said...

Right on Ron! sorry you got cut up, last time you pulled on a piece of 7 your hand were warm huh? thanks for the reminder that things are going to loose a bit of feeling in the next few,,,
About being crazy...
Im supposed to be working outside for my mother inlaw, unless the weather is bad,, well the weather has been bad, thats how I wound up on the river three days last week.
sorry mom.

Colorado Angler said...

Midgeman - thanks! It was a good day...cold, yes, but it's part of our addiction.

Super glue...yup, carry that stuff with me in my pack. : )

Josh - yeah, that line cut me good. The nastier hole is where I had to yank a #24 Miracle from my left finger.

Now don't be getting in trouble with the mother-in-law! But the weather has been crappy...dude, we need to plan something for spring. That will give me plenty of time keep my schedule open.

Owl Jones said...

Man oh man. If those are "little guys" I have GOT to get out to CO to do some fishing! Our big fish here in the east( the wild fish, not the stocked and pellet fed ones) would be bait for those guys! I used to be like you in that cold didn't bother me. Then, I turned 40. It's 38 outside and I'm sitting at home. Why? Because it's 38.

Great post! Love the pics of the "little guys!" :)

Colorado Angler said...

Owl - thanks for stopping by and the comment!

HA! Yeah, the cold...it's not pleasant, especially when you can't feel your fingers. Or toes.

C'mon out! Plenty of nice, big ol' fish just waiting for you to toss their way!

Dustin's Fly Box said...

Great looking fish you have there! It was 45 degrees today in vegas which is cold to me lol. Great blog! I started following!

JEG said...

Alright, Alpha Male. I need some more pictures of big trout to motivate me after yesterday's thorough skunking. Or at least another fly pattern to plagiarize (with attribution, of course).


Colorado Angler said...

@ Dustin - thanks for stopping in, and the kind words. Hopefully I actually have something to post after this weekend (and a 2 month hiatus!)

@JEG - HA! Plagarize away, my friend! During the last couple of months I started several fly posts - never got around to finishing them up, but perhaps I should.

Hitting the water hard this weekend, and I'm swinging for the fences this outing, so hopefully I can get something relatively interesting to post - don't need to be losing my Man Badge!

Unknown said...

I just had to say Thanks for your post of Nov. 29, 2009! (Best Damn Scud Pattern. Period. I just had the best day of fly fishing ever $/1/2011) thanks to your scud pattern. Antero Res., Eight fish landed, half a dozen others had early releases, all over sixteen inches and three over twenty-two inches. Great blog. Hope to see some new posts soon. Thanks again, Popsracer41

Colorado Angler said...

Popsracer - niiiice! That little fly has produced some outstanding days on the water for me and several of my buddies - always nice to hear about others snaring some fish with that one.

If you do any tailwaters, give that one a drift - it'll pull some fish. They love it on the Taylor, South Platte and Pan, too!

Thanks for the comment!