My dad blessed me with a new fly rod for Christmas, and I just couldn't wait until summer to try it out. So this past Saturday saw me embarking on the first fly fishing trip of 09 down at Wind River Canyon, a fabled tail water where legend has it that three to five pound rainbows and browns are there to be taken.
The canyon was beautiful under a light dusting of snow as I bundled up in multiple layers, bag-lady style, complete with fingerless rag wool gloves, and hit the river.
I had never flyfished in the winter before, and I have to say it has its pros and cons. Most of the positives involved things that were missing: there was nobody else on the river except a couple of bait fishermen a quartermile downstream who were gone by the time I geared up. Also, not a rattlesnake in sight. No bugs, either, except for a few hardy midges scooting along on the surface of the river.
Cons? Well, it was cold. Really cold. I can put up with a good bit of cold, but when the guides on my rod started clogging up with ice, it's hard to cast. Hard to navigate, too, with the steep banks frozen and dusted with snow. I did manage to stay out of the river, though, which brings me to another disadvantage to winter fly fishing: If I do this much, I am going to have to invest in a pair of waders. The Wind is a fair sized river by Wyoming standards, and most of the good holes are out of reach from the bank, but it's just to chilly to get in the water this time of year.
The result? Nothing. Skunked. Whatever the legendary five pound rainbows and browns of the Wind River were hungry for, it was not clumsily presented green wooly buggers or bead head hare's ears.
But I'll be back.
Maybe after it warms up a bit.