Fly fishing in the winter is a bit of a love – hate relationship for me. Before my family moved to Eastern Idaho, Winter was by far my favorite time of the year to fish. All the people floating the rivers were gone, the flows were low and the river easy to wade, the water was always clear, and you didn’t have to worry about someone else fishing where you wanted to. Not to mention, the fish love the colder water that winter inevitably brings along. Winter is much milder in the Boise area than it is here in Rexburg. When my family moved to Rigby four years ago, I was caught off guard at how cold and extreme the winters really can be here. Days of subzero temperatures are not an uncommon occurrence and single digits in the mornings become the norm. Right now it feels like mother nature can’t seem to decide if she wants it to be winter or fall. We’ve been receiving the occasional snow storm, followed by temperatures cold enough to keep ice on the guides all day. On the other, the occasional warm front will come through that reminds me of the mild weather we had this fall.
I’ve learned to love the winters of eastern Idaho and look forward to them every year now. Solitude is easily found on most all rivers. People have either put their fly rods away for the year or they have moved on to fishing the hard deck. Ice fishing is definitely another reason that I love the winters here. There is something about standing over a little hole in the ice all day and catching yourself a nice mess of perch. But for now, ice fishing will have to wait.
All Colored Up
Another thing I love about fishing in the colder weather is the beautiful colors all the fish are sporting. The cooler water does them good and it shows in the way they color up again. All the colors become more vivid. Often times nymphing is the name of the game. Most of the fish don’t want to move very far or burn much energy to get a meal.
Beautiful Spotting Pattern
Then there are those days when a fluke warm front comes through and the fish go nuts on Streamers. Saturday was one of those days. The fish wouldn’t touch a nymph but we couldn’t keep them off of the streamers. No monsters, but definitely some quality fish that more than made up for their size with their beauty.
Sweet looking Brownie
A Chunky Hybrid
November has definitely been good to me and I expect it to keep getting better as the days continue to become more overcast and cooler. This week is the start of Thanksgiving break. I am excited to spend time with family, eat some great food, and I also intend to get out and fish quite a bit. I can’t think of a better way to express my gratitude for what I am thankful for than experiencing it first hand. Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!