Ice, Ice, Baby

This weeks report is full of it.  Ice has taken over the river and very few stretches are open.  Thankfully we have had a day or two where the temps have actually gotten above freezing so there are a couple stretches that are fishable.  I took a drive up the river this week not expecting to do any fishing.  Last time I was out there were no fish rising and I didn't find enough fishable water for me to even break out the rod.  I expected this weeks drive to be much the same.

About halfway up the canyon, still looking for any sign of rising fish and coming up empty I spotted something interesting standing on an ice shelf in the middle of the river.  By the time I got the truck stopped, backed up, and the camera out it had taken off but I managed to get this picture of a nice big bald eagle.

Continuing up the canyon I stopped at one of my favorite spots.  In my last report just before Christmas I had caught a couple fish here but as I broke through the brush I could see it wasn't going to happen this day.  The picture below shows the ice over the top of a run that held at least 7 feeding fish last time I was here. 

Another Shot of an Icy River

Finally I stopped at a run that I have had good luck with finding rising fish but I thought for sure it would be iced over as it is a fairly calm bend.  Even the riffles were frozen solid in some places so I figured there would be no way this place would be ice free.  I could see though, as I approached, several Ducks swimming in the run, so I knew that was a good sign.  When I pulled the truck up and hopped out I was greeted by a welcome sight.  One hundred yards of very accessible water.   The only thing I needed now were the fish to cooperate.  The surface was pretty calm and so I decided to walk slowly down the bank and see if anything showed up.  I had just turned my back on the river to duck under some brush when I heard a slurp.  Quickly I turned back to see the dissipating ripples left by a rise.  Then the white mouth of a nice fish appeared again and took another midge from the waters surface.  That's all it took to get me in gear.  I slowly backed away from the bank then sprinted to my pickup, jumped into my waders, and grabbed my fly rod.  A couple minutes later I was hooked up with my first fish of 2011. 
Happy New Year!
 The fish kept rising but I went through a dry spell after that fish was landed.  Then just as I was about to leave, and call it a day, another fish took my fly and fish number 2 came to hand.  This fish was nearly a carbon copy of the first.  In fact I had to compare the pictures to be sure they weren't the same fish, but it turns out it's pretty obvious they are not. 
Fish Number 2

There is something very satisfying about fooling fish in the dead of winter on a dry fly.  It is one of the most rewarding things I have done as far as fishing goes.  I am beginning to really enjoy the winter fishing season.  As long as there is open water.


Jump Creek Flies

Welcome to the New Year and something new here on the blog. As of January 1st I will begin making a few of my best producing patterns available for purchase here. To the right you will see the storefront where fly patterns will be made available for sale. You can use that application to order, and pay for your flies.  Also feel free to visit www.jumpcreekflies.com

All flies I sell will have been tied by me personally. Every pattern will also be one which I personally have proven. I will never sell a pattern that has not produced for me on a regular basis. I plan to offer a small selection of high quality, hand tied flies, with a personal touch, and at a very reasonable price.

Thanks for looking and hope you have a New Year filled with Tight Lines.

Benji Sorenson