Sunday, December 29, 2013
Last MI fish of 2013
Well the post Xmas pre-New Years trip to the cabin has been challenging to say the least. The past few days have bounced from positive 5C to -7C in less than 24 hrs. Saturdays mild spell was reluctantly welcomed. As suspected with positive temps come positive crowds. The river was extremely busy. I only had a few hours to burn so I poked around and managed to sniff out a couple. One came to hand on an Atomic Orange Great Lakes Steelhead Co bead and the other got the better of me on my hand tied Olive Marabou jig. It's too bad because it was a beast but was long in the drift and burning down river towards some wood. I had to put the hammer down and the knot gave way and left the poor fellow with a dead sexy Marabou mouth piercing. Sunday morning came and went and it was extremely hard to muster up the courage and ambition to venture out into the now sub-Arctic temps. It wasn't easy but I finally got my head around it and set forth towards the access. It was now a little after 1pm. Surprisingly the traffic was still on the heavy side at the parking lot but I suspected my water would be lonely. Upon arriving at the bottom of the valley my suspicions were confirmed. I dropped in and started to pick away. I knew it was going to be tough and I was quite expecting a blank after two days of marginal success and the dramatic temperature swing brought on by this nasty cold front. The winds were brutal and the guides were freezing up hard. I stuck to my system and systematically went through all of my go to offerings and colours up and down the run. After a good hour and a half my feet began to remind me that it was almost time to cut our losses. I made my way to the bank to de-ice the guides and warm my now aching fingers and toes. After a 15 min reprieve I decided one last go with what has proven to be "the money bead" for my 2013 season...The Atomic Orange. The second drift in the float dropped. The Rod loaded up proud and the fight was on. It was an incredibly exhilarating feeling and an instant reminder as to why we suffer through these extremes when everyone else is hunkered down in the warmth of their homes. I half heartedly expected to lose this fish but lady luck must have been looking over me as I somehow managed to swing the magnificent hen to the bank. I carefully positioned my reel for a few pics keeping in mind any water would instantly render it useless in these temps. After my photo session I grabbed my the rod only to see the reel covered in ice. The Mykiss is an outstanding float reel but certainly not one for the sub-Arctic temps. I tried to thaw it out but each drift resulted in a re-freeze. I was not about to complain as the entire ordeal was an outstanding way to end the 2013 calendar year over here on the West Side. If I'm lucky I just might get out for a quick drift back home in Ontario before the extended season ends Jan 1st but that is highly unlikely. 2013 has certainly proven to be a challenging season...big rains, big water, big fish.