With no guided trips scheduled this past week and no pressing honey do’s I went fishing everyday. When you have air temps in the upper 50’s and low 60’s in January, you got to take advantage. With most of my fishing buddies having normal jobs I spent the week alone on the water except one. The week started off with a successful solo trip out for musky. Normally I never fish for musky alone but conditions were to good to miss.
The sun was bright in the middle of the week and I was feeling a little guilty that I was fishing and my wife was hard at work in a cubicle. I decided to get some stuff done around the house before fishing. I’m fortunate to live only 20 minutes from 5 different native brook trout streams. So when time is tight I can sneak out and fish a little while before picking my son up from school. I was pleasantly surprised how active the brookies were. I guess the warm air temps had warmed them up a bit. I started throwing a dry and nymph dropper rig, but after several takes on the dry I was using, I took the nymph off and stuck to the dry. I did not catch every fish in the stream but enough to keep me happy. My dog Charlie joined me on these excursions and he enjoyed the exercise. Even got a soapless bath a few times crossing deep pools.
Friday I had a couple good buddies off from work and with conditions perfect for streamer fishing on the Jackson River, we headed there. Casting large streamers is one my favorite ways to fish as long as its from the boat. The boat allows you to cover a lot of water and not waste time wading and getting into position for the cast. Plus high-water produces the best chance at having a large brown trout messing up on his or her meal decision. The day started off slow as it usual does in January but as the day progressed the fish woke up. The best fishing was definitely noon to 4pm that day and thats typical for winter water temps. The morning mainly produced short strikes from the wild browns but after some fly changes and afternoon approaching fish were getting hooked. I changed from my normal size streamer (4′) to a large (6 1/2″) fly that was converted smaller from a musky fly I wasn’t happy with. That seemed to be the game changer for me. Even had some small fish swipe and short strike the large fly but the bigger browns meant business when they charged off the bank. It was a great day spent with friends doing what we love and a good week catching different fish in different places.