The Deep Freeze….
Thurs. Jan. 24, 2013 ……Today marks a rare event in our guiding…..cancelling a trip due to cold temps and frozen conditions. I had a trip scheduled today but postponed it after my client Dr Pat Burney and I talked about conditions. 16F warming up to around 20F balmy degrees…20-25mph wind blowing across 6 to 8 inches of snow and a mix of snow and sleet on and off all day….Sound delightful. ..? Pat said "I would rather not……" And after being out in it all week I could only agree.
We could have caught fish….have done it all week even in some very difficult conditions…..but somedays if the wind is too stiff things get really interesting. At 28F or 29F and down you will have Ice in the guides. Not might, ….will. At 20F you will have ice in guides and it will freeze on the line. Below 20F and you will have the last foot or two of the rod so frozen with ice that casting more than half a dozen strokes will cause you to lay the rod and reel down on the bank and spend a few minutes breaking all the ice off the rod tip. And stripping in line or a fish…..forget that altogether unless its a cast or two right after you have de-iced your rod tip. Its times like this that you will never question your manhood. Your sanity maybe, but not manhood….lol.
The past few weeks have been the setup for the Perfect Storm…. Heavy rains with temps hovering around 33-35F then plummeting temps with 4 inches to a foot of heavy snow….then a week of temps with nighttime lows between 8F and 18F….and daytime highs not making it above freezing. Two days this week we caught fish in water that was 33.5F….so fish do feed. But its been bitterly cold for enough days now that there is an ever increasing amount of frozen river to deal with. And with this the fish are almost always going to be in the slowest secondary water or currents…the places you would normally stand…thats where you fish when its really cold. Trouble is though, guess what areas are the first places to freeze over…?….You guessed it…those slower areas where the fish you want to catch are holding.
Looks like this current weather pattern is holding through the weekend then a warmup next week into the 60s for a few days. Until then, we have a few more days of really cold weather ahead and another potential Winter Weather Storm event tonight into tomorrow evening. Sweet…….
Looks like a great time to sip some coffee, put a bluegrass CD on, throw some more wood on the fire, and get to tying flies…….
Have a great one….will have an update on fishing conditions if I happen to get in Saturday’s trip with Dr. Jason Steinbicker.
Have a great afternoon. ..!
Jeff Wilkins FlyFishing
3703 Windspray Ct
Summerfield, NC 27358
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