Water temperature: 3.5C @ 2,400 cfs
Flirting with lowest flow on record for this time in December. Wade across to fish through Slate Creek where the ice has been accumulating on the bar for days. The backwaters are frozen solid. The sun will never see the ground here until late January. But the half pounders are positively ON from the get-go. Wanted to do a pass through and move on to sunnier places, but ended up doing four passes through the lower half and two passes through the upper piece with a steady procession of grabs from top to bottom. The upper part was fun because I could swing through the right side then turn, cast and swing through the left trough before stepping down. 50/50 split on fish from both sides with most coming in the merging seam at the bottom. Mostly swung a purple bunny leech, deep and slow with many, many, many grabs. Some solid grabs, but lots of butterfly taps with an equal number of missed slow tugs prompting a muttering stream of obscenities. Mixed it up for a bit with a big orange/red prawn and then a purple rhea spey, but the purple bunny took top honors, though it also saw the first passes through the water. Who knows if one of those tugs was the bigger winter-run fish? Several fish to hand, and a day to rival any early fall day here. I was reluctant to go this morning on account of the water temps, expecting maybe the hard-earned grab here or there. I think the air did get above freezing for a bit in early afternoon – right about the time a bird across the way broke out into loud song – but short-lived. The right foot of my waders is on the verge of wearing through …. ugghhh.
Will probably pass on this water next time … too many half pounders, though super fun…. have my eye on a certain far-side run and a repeat performance on adults….