Updated 2/09/2021 - Finally starting to look like winter around here! Woke up this morning to -16 degrees with 8" of snow in town from the storm this past weekend. Our snowpack rose 16% to 87% of normal from the last storm cycle. The temps remain cold throughout the remainder of the week and into next week. Time to go skiing, tie some flies, and dream about saltwater adventures.
Before the cold snap, fishing had been solid. Usually this time of year, the lower river near town is pushing ice most days or has gorged already. The past few weeks, we've been able to jet down after work between 8Mile and Valley Garden to fish the last few hours of light.
Nymphing is the name of the game right now. Small turds, midges, perdigons, prince nymphs, and lightning bugs are all producing fish. #10 olive/brown turd has been my best one so far this winter. Honestly, finding the right depth and right pace of water is more important than fly choice.
Dry fly fishing this winter has been pretty darn good above the West Fork Bridge. Seasonally warm temps, with some overcast days, provides some great midge fishing. #18 or #20 cluster midges and griffith's gnats are the go to there.
Streamers can be productive as well. Tightlining and dead drifting smaller streamers will produce. Get the streamer down deep. The slower that streamer is moving the better. Keep it tight. The grabs are more subtle. Small natural, white, black, and olive sculpins are a good call. Try small lightning bugs behind these streamers. Don't be afraid to swing them either.
- MRFC Guide Borden Porter