Blue River Fly Classic

Blue River Fly Classic
A One Pattern Fly Event

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Nastier The Weather - The Better The Fishing

Although the weather at Blue right now is rather cool and close to being bitter at times, it's still not in the category of being nasty which for me brings really good catching opportunities in the pursuit of the bows.

My description of nasty weather at Blue can best be illustrated by the picture below.

This picture comes courtesy of Donny Carter whom I consider the king of dry fly fishers at Blue and the subject fly fisher is Mark Webster. Mark and his dad Jamie are familiar faces on and long time friends of Blue River.

To me, this picture of Mark personifies the lengths some of us in the fly fishing community will go to to capture a trout and reminds me of days I've personally experienced on Blue.

For me there is something just absolutely refreshing and unique about standing in the river Blue as the snowflakes fall, surrounding all involved with a blanket of nature's cleansing.


There can be some problems when fishing in extreme cold weather and all of us should use our noggin's to make sure a good outing doesn't turn bad.

One rule is to never fish alone during extreme cold weather. One simple mis-step or catching the toe of your wading boots on a rock can land you in the frigid river and it is amazing how fast hypothermia can set in. So...buddy fish especially if you go into the remote areas such as the south or north wilderness areas and especially the Catch & Release area.

Dadgum guides freezing up again? Yeah, this is an age old problem with fly-fishing in cold, cold weather. There's been days on Blue when not only did my guides freeze up but my reel would freeze also. So...what to do? One answer is to stay in the cabin or campsite with a roaring campfire but if fish we must there are a couple of products that will help. One is called Ice Off and although I've never used it I've had friends tell me that it works fairly well. There is also a product called Reel Magic, and some of the ole salts recommend silicone sprays or Vaseline. Vaseline seems logical but kinda messy I would think and certainly will leave a film in the river as the silicone sprays. I tend just to tough it out continuously dipping my guides in the river and swishing. This practice temporarily gets rid of the ice long enough to capture a bow and if the fishing is hot enough then you don't have anything to worry about in the first place.

The cold and your body. Body parts...yeah that's the issue during extreme cold weather. Extremities such as your hands, ears, feet, face, and neck can take a real beating during nasty weather.

A good investment in good cold weather gear can make all the difference. Personally I have a problem with my hands being terribly cold or the wind blowing down my neck. Those two issues can send me packing faster than anything. To remedy my neck issue I started wearing a thick scarf years ago and that has made all the difference in the world. Unfortunately for my hands I've yet to find anything that works practically. I do have a good set of gloves but gloves are going to get wet sooner or later and they are cumbersome at best.

Indeed fly fishing in extreme cold weather brings a series of uncomfortable possibilities. However fishing the nasty weather is something that most of us will do sooner or later just so we can say we did. Just do yourself a favor and be as well prepared as you can for that nasty and frigid outing that you are destined to take.

1 comment:

David said...

A Jone hand warmer does the trick when it's really really cold...fill it full of fuel, light it up and it will last 8 hours and be really toasty nice on those nasty cold days. I got into these jewels years (and years ago) when I was carrying papers (we walked and porched the papers) in Lubbock where the winters can get rather nasty.