Hell Weeks......well that's what I call them. It's the time around Christmas Eve to somewhere after New Year's Day. This is what the tourism industry calls these two Holidays. Don't get me wrong, it's great, business is good, workers are busy and the resort is making money. But, after 2 weeks of working, sleeping, eating and not much else, I look forward to the Monday after New Years Day. Everyone else is dreading going back to work, but the few of us who worked over the Holidays makes this day feel like Christmas all over again.
After driving on snow covered roads for 30 minutes I finally arrived at my destination. The weather couldn't of been worse, 19 degrees with 20-30 mph winds. I still had a smile on my face as I was rigging up. I've been longing to wet a line since the Hell Weeks started.
As I was getting blown over by the wind, I realized I better throw on a TB because Tight Lining would be near impossible. Fishing an indicator on this river is not my first choice, the currents are too complex to get good drifts and registering strikes becomes a challenge. But I didn't mind so much today, I was just happy to be out. I took a long walk away from where I parked, didn't want to get back to my truck till 4. I recently got a new wading jacket for Christmas, the 3-1 Salt River Jacket from Patagonia. I wanted to put it to the in these harsh conditions. I also scored a pair of Patagonia Foot Tractor Wading Boots, no better place to test their traction then here.
After 20 minutes of walking I finally dunked my nymph's in the river. I started in a slower area methodically working my way through the hole. I managed to land a few fish and lost 1 really good high teens brown. He put on an impressive head shake but my set was slow and the hook didn't stick. Oh well. I continued to work upstream, fighting off cold hands, ice build up and broken rigs. I swear it took me 2 hours to move 100 yards because I kept breaking off. Nothing is more frustrating then re-gigging when your hands are numb. The fish were still spread out throughout all types of water, I caught fish in slow water, on the banks, and in heavy pockets. My confidence wasn't great fishing this type of water with the TB but I still caught a few fish each hour to make the day go by quickly.
In route back to where I parked I tried throwing streamers. I fished them hard for about 20 minutes but only got 1 chase, the fish was a solid mid-teens brown. A nice ice cold Head Hunter was waiting for me back at the truck and the streamer bite was off, easy decision..... I gave up on throwing meat for the Head Hunter......good choice. While drinking my beer I noticed my streamer was frozen solid....maybe not enough movement in the water??? LOL
Toward the end of the day I scored my best brown of this outing, I very colored up 16 inch wild brown. That was the icing on the cake, Hell Week is forgotten and a new year is upon us.......
|Icing On The Cake.....Or All Over My Body|
I'll post a gear review on my two new products, but 2 thumbs up to both, my core stayed extremely warm for 8 straight hours, Patagonia knows how to develop top notch outdoor apparel. As for the boots they worked tremendous, I wish I would of had a pair of these last year.