Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Falling Snow and Big, Bushy Dry Flies

January, I thought you were going to be a tough month to kill. You often are, with your ice and snow and long cold spells. This time around you froze everything solid then flooded it all, scouring stream beds, moving fish around, and just making everything that little bit more difficult. But that wasn't going to stop me. I am well armed with the winter dry fly staples.

But I also have a tendency not to follow the rules. January, you are the time of year when the only terrestrial insects not hibernating or crawling on my windows are too small to imitate effectively and the aquatic insects are just big enough... anything but a good time to fish big, bushy dry flies. Fisherman like to make arbitrary rules; don't use this here, don't fish these now, don't fish that then. It won't work. I'm here to break those rules. So, when the size 20 parachute Adams failed to rise a fish in the flat I thought would be my best shot and the Crazy Shrimp failed to tempt anyone in the runs or plunges, I took a five minute ride downstream and tied on a size 12 Ausable Bomber. When all else fails, do something stupid.

I dropped the bomber on a glassy deep pool, gave it one twitch, and a lean nine inch brookie came up like a shark, dorsal out of the water, grabbed the bomber, and showed off her tail on the way down. I set the hook and by some miracle actually landed her.

So that's that January. I beat you fair and square, in the best way I can imagine. I'm not scared of you, I never was. And though I've won the battle I might just have to try again. There's nothing quite like fishing big, bushy dry flies in falling snow.