Friday, February 4, 2011


A summer spent carping left my trout box desolated. Around 12:30 in the morning, I finally put the vice away and discovered I had to change lines and add backing to my reel too. Sleep would have to wait. Soon I was packed with the basic essentials for a day on the water. I set my alarm for 5:30 with high hopes of hitting the road by 6. When that annoying sound vibrated on my desk, I hit the snooze several times. With no fishing partner waiting for me, it was all too easy to sleep in a little longer. I ended up hitting the road at seven and realized I forgot a key ingredient in my freezer. I made the return trip before embarking once again. I was finally stream side by 9 and pushing through a foot of snow soon thereafter.

Contemplating Hitting Snooze for the 7th Time.

Packed & In Bed By 2.

The winter has been a little harsh on the mid-atlantic region and the next few days were calling for quite the epic storm to roll across the country. The bitter cold had left my local streams covered in ice and I yearned for open water. I found it and willing fish on an out of state tailwater. After a rough morning, I finally got into a groove and found some solitude as well. The pretty wild brown trout were small and feisty as usual and willing to hit a variety of presentation methods. 

I Can't Wait For Spring, Warmer Temps, & Daylight.

I Have Lost All Faith in Factory Installed Loops. 
Thank You Mr. Nailknot. 

Morning's First.

As the temperature slowly warmed, loud splashes could be heard all around. Snow was softening on the trees and coming down in bucketfuls. The trout did not seem to mind all the commotion on top of the water. However, several times snow landed on me as I made my way upstream. Some of it hurt because the trees it was coming off of were quite tall. The snow also made my hike quite sketchy especially in the canyon section where the water is lined with large boulders. The snow masked small crevices that I didn't want to get a foot or leg stuck in. 

Why We Fish In Winter.

This is all Bonus.

Gorgeous Stretch.

Produces a Gorgeous Fish.

What Goes Up.

Must Come Down. 
Don't Slip.

Swinging Nymphs.

A Favorite Bend. 

The highlight of the day came on my hike back to the truck. I decided to focus on fishing streamers on my return journey. I chose a large articulated sculpin with the idea of going big or going home. I was rewarded with one of my largest fish from this stretch of water. Along slow deep pocket, I bounced the weighted fly along the bottom before coming tight to something that had some weight to it. After a few tense moments I landed the beautiful brown for a few quick photos before sending her on her way. It was my payoff for a long day hiking and fishing solo. 


Four Inches of Sculpin.

Equals Sixteen Inches of Brown.

Very Kind of Them.
If It Was Me, They Would Have Gone in Front.

Warmest Water Around.

Walking A Mile Downstream to the Truck.


Wade Rivers said...

Flippin' awesome, dude! A 'powder-perfect kind of day. Almost makes me want to try that fly fishing thing that I've heard so much about.

AZWanderings said...

Beautiful winter brown trout and fantastic photos. Sure looks cold though. Thanks for sharing.


Unknown said...

Stellar photos.

Amber said...

Amazing photos! I just stumbled across your blog today and will definitely check back often. Great post!

Mark said...

Thanks everyone, came back to this stream the past weekend and was skunked. No water this time though.

Thanks Amber, your blog looks good.