Fishing in the Snow

Our recent heavy snows have reminded me of the essentials needed to successfully fish our local waters in severe winter weather.  All of us have had occasions – perhaps as recent as our last storm – when we have had to cancel our fly fishing plans due to inclement weather.  Instead of spending a good day on the stream we have opted to recline before a climate and resource destroying fireplace and a watch a silly game where grown men throw a ball around in tight pants on television.  Or worse, spending the day shoveling the walkway and drive for the little woman.

With proper preparation there is no need for this to happen, especially since there is such a ready source of products available to make our wintertime ventures more enjoyable. 

Let’s start with the basics.

Let’s start with the basics.
Track System for Kubota RTV 900 Utility Vehicle

You will need this to get you to the stream and to haul additional essentials.
$7395 (Assuming you already have the RTV 900 Utility Vehicle)

Herman Nelson BT – 400 Mirage Desert Wind Portable Heater

To be strategically placed and fired up just upwind of your selected pool prior to entering the water.
$1,900.00 for the budget minded, on eBay, used.

Coast Guard approved Mustang Ultimate Ice Rescue Suit

Combines the robustness of the Tactical Operations Dry Suit with the high visibility and   padding needed in swift water rescues.

Electric Pet Deterrent Fence Controller (for your Fly Rod)

Effectively eliminates line icing.  The termTight Lines” is for salutations only. Do not     be concerned with that pesky electricity stuff... graphite fly rods have a very low     resistivity ranging from 9 to 40 uqm, which is essentially zero, insuring a relatively safe method of fly delivery.
$29.95... Or just use the one you use to keep your spouse under control.

To equip yourself with just these basics you have only spent a little over ten thousand dollars, plus whatever shipping costs would be involved.  A small price to pay to insure a comfortable day on the stream.  And if my math is accurate and you achieve the average wintertime catch rate, that comes to something like an expenditure of, well, about ten thousand dollars per fish.

And an additional benefit to being properly outfitted:  With the noise generated by the portable heater, you will not be distracted by wildlife of any sort, and more importantly, you can rest assured that you’ll have the stream to yourself as those without proper ear protection will surely seek other venues.

Regarding tactics, I recommend fishing deep...very deep.  And very noisily.  As trout, during severe weather enter into a dormant state it is important to wake them from their slumber.  As there is little chance that the trout will be in the mood to eat anything once awake, avoid all attempts at “hatch matching” and revert instead to the tried and true “Hellbender.”  With its weight and broad deep diving bill, coupled with its awesome treble hooks, you increase your chances of not only waking, but of actually “catching” a fish.  You will find that a strike indicator is unnecessary.  If snagging, I mean, if this sort of fishing is not to your liking and if the fishing is particularly slow, you will also want to consider chunking rocks into the stream from time to time to get the fish moving around.  Big rocks.

As a final cautionary note, please be aware that under such severe conditions one needs to keep hydrated throughout the day.  Many have found that Absolut 100 is perfectly suited to the flask, I mean task.  Not only is it best consumed in a near frozen state, but achieving that proper temperature will require no auxiliary refrigeration equipment.




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