After surviving the holidays I decided to get out there and fish on New Year’s Day. The weather was about twenty degrees above normal at a balmy fifty degrees. Truth be told I had some time and probably would have headed to the river if it was only thirty degrees as well.
I took my time getting ready on Tuesday morning, no need to rush this time of year. After a quick breakfast, I decided to head to one of my favorite rivers which are loaded with trout but also very challenging to actually land fish.
I had read online that the water was running very high and fast but wanted to see for myself. This year the rainfall has been unusually high, especially that past two months. Normally this river is running slow and not very deep which makes it easy to sight fish. Not today. Nope, today the water was running between 500 and 700 cfs. (That’s cubic feet per second). The type of fast that can be dangerous to wade. Drop any gear and it will be in the next town before you can drop your favorite expletive.
I parked the suv in the usual place and noted that it wasn’t as crowded as it normally is. As I walked the trail I began to notice why. The water level was extremely high and most areas weren’t wadeable. It was a warm fifty degrees but the wind gusts were very high as well. While walking the trail and keeping my eye on the river I heard a crackling in the trees up high. This was followed by a loud crash of timber that had fallen about thirty yards ahead of me on the trail. This got my attention right quick. I’m glad I was taking my time on the trail as this would have put an end to my day fishing or otherwise.
I spent the rest of the time on the trail looking up more than looking at the river. Further down the trail, I found a few spots that were fishable by wading and on shore. I managed to land a couple small brook trout with some euro nymphs and midges. Overall the fish weren’t really biting so I spent more time walking than fishing. I did spot a landlocked salmon that had to be over 24 inches long (in the water). I ran into several anglers that experienced the same conditions, most had caught little to no fish. But everyone was talking about that salmon. I’ll have to go back on a better day to see if we can meet up close.
After a while, I decided to stop fishing and just enjoy a beautiful day in January. I hiked the trails and took in the beautiful scenery. I managed to get some decent photos of the river and surroundings to preserve the moment. This river probably hits this level and speed, maybe once in a decade. However, next week I’m going to fish somewhere else until things calm down here.
Happy New Year,
"no reels, no problems"