Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fly-Fishing Fail

As it turns out, negative temperatures don't make for the best fishing conditions. Who would have thought?

Originally, I was going to have a nice long weekend off, but with a last minute booking I was back to working. I had planned on seeing Umphrey's McGee Friday night in Denver, and fishing Saturday and Sunday. Not to be.

I had yesterday off and there was no way I wasn't going to try to get on the water. Fly-fishermen aren't the most sane people on the planet, and I'm pretty sure we embrace this. A reasonable person would never think of trying to fish in this kind of weather.

The weather man has been a total ass lately. We've been getting snow dumped on us relentlessly, and it's been COLD. Had a morning last week that greeted us to -52 degrees. The forecast for the weekend is in the 30's, perfect for fishing. Yesterday, not so perfect. The high was 7 degrees, never reached that temperature. It was -10 when I woke up and had only warmed to a balmy -4 by the time I got to the water.

Undeterred, I donned my waders and got all my ducks in a row. I headed down to the hole I've been fishing almost exclusively to find the water like a slushy. The water was steaming and had a strange blue-green tint to it. Turns out this blue-green tint was the ice forming on the river bottom. And the water was so much warmer (a chilly 33 degrees) than the air, that it was steaming. I should have been smart enough to call it a day then, but the stubbornness that fishermen possess kept me pressing onward.

Seeing that the water was unfishable, I headed upstream to look for some warmer water flowing from the Williams Fork Reservoir. The hike to the confluence of the Colorado and the Williams Fork isn't very far, maybe a half to three-quarters of a mile. But, trudging through snow made this trek arduous.

I hiked up to the confluence to find the Williams Fork just as icy as the rest of the water. I did manage to jump a couple of whitetail deer, both does. Seeing those deer somehow made the walk worth it. I also came across a large flock of ducks in the river. I wasn't quick enough with the camera to snap a picture of either.

I never rigged up, and I never made a cast.

I worked up a pretty good sweat trekking through the snow, and soon got rather chilled. I headed back to the car in defeat.

But the day wasn't a complete and total bust. I decided to head to Golden, CO for a couple beers and a growler. Evolution IPA is delicious!

Life is Groovy,