Saturday, November 10, 2012

Thank God for Tailwaters

Well, it's official.  Winter has arrived and our delightful Indian summer is now but a memory. 

I don't mind.  The rivers will be more peaceful now, as only a handful of us diehards will be on the water braving the cold for the next three months.  

"Bring it on," I say.

I welcome the solitude.

The dog and I renew our bond each winter.  She loves the snow, along with the critters that hide beneath it.  There are cross-country ski trips to be had up Darby Canyon and South Leigh Creek.

For now, however, the barley farm behind our house is her kingdom.  She rules the roost and the local skunks, pheasants, ducks and field mice heed her call.

I managed to sneak away just before old man winter arrived for an outing with Shane on a gorgeous fall day.  Although the bright sun and cloudless bluebird skies kept the bugs down and killed the streamer bite, the nymphing was quite good.

Shane Thomas Photo
Is there anything in the world a flashback pheasant tail nymph can't accomplish?

As I sit here typing, I can hear snow flakes landing on our metal roof.  Winter is just beginning, but I am already thinking about a spring trip to the tropics.  Campeche for baby tarpon?  Punta Allen or Andros for bones?

Or maybe, given my budget (or lack thereof), I should just head over to Miami to visit the folks and hit the Biscayne flats.
My Attempt at a Split Screen Rainbow Release

Apparently a lot of people are thinking about spring trips to the tropics, as I've noticed a large spike in blog visits from folks searching the web for "DIY bonefishing Turks and Caicos."

It's that time of year.

No more warm, bluebird days with rolled up sleeves. Not around here at least.  Not for about six months.

I absolutely love our local rivers in the winter.  It's hard to imagine a more serene, peaceful and engaging setting than the Henry's Fork or the South Fork on a stormy winter's day.  

Imagine listening to snow flakes land while noses gently peek above the surface during a midge hatch. Imagine dark skies, tranquil water and slow-moving dorsal fins.

Some of the best dry fly fishing of the year will occur between now and Christmas, yet very few people will experience it.  

It has been a wonderful fall with some incredible fishing, but I am ready for winter and the change of pace. 

Thank God for tailwaters.


  1. I always enjoy your posts Brent. I wholeheartedly agree with you. There's just something about standing in the middle of a freezing river with snow falling and feeling completely warm inside the layers you're wearing. Not to mention the solitude.

    1. Many thanks, Chris - and right back at ya. I really like the new layout, design and direction with your blog.

      Keep up the good work.

  2. GREAT read Brent. Really enjoyed that one. And you're spot on about the flashback PT. Give me a handful of those and I think I could catch fish just about anywhere. Trout, carp, whatever.

    1. Thanks Ty. Yep, I think if the zombie apocalypse occurred and I had to fish for food with only one fly, it would be the FPT.

      Hope you're having a great weekend.

  3. Nice read on a Sunday morning. Good stuff Brent.

    1. Thanks John. Still jealous after seeing your redfish trip photos.

  4. great post. love winter trout fishing

    that said, would your parents mind if I come stay with them in Miami?

    1. Christine, I asked my folks and they are excited to have you visit.

      My mother wants to tell you all about her grandson and that darn bunion on her left foot. My dad pulled out his old high school yearbooks and is ready to show you all of his football pictures.


  5. Great fish pics, Brent, but the truck shot is my favorite. Well done!

    1. Thanks Mike. The truck was a restoration project my father in law started before he passed away. It's a 1954 F100. There is another fully-restored 1939 Ford truck waiting for us in New Hampshire if/when we can transport it back to Idaho.

      Thanks for checking out the site.