Alan, Kirk, and I met up for some small stream fishing today. At mid morning the temperature was in the low teens and I don't think it got much warmer. We did ok with ice on the line and in the guides early but when we headed up a small tributary the ice became almost unmanageable. We were a bit surprised to see how much water the brook was holding from the heavy rains late last week and the large number of ice dams all along the brook. Eventually we got frustrated with the iced up gear and called it a day. Kirk had managed a small brown and a brookie and Alan had a couple bumps but I blanked.
Not wanting to get shut out for the second straight outing of 2018, I decided to try one last spot. When it's the bottom of the ninth, with no runs and no hits, it's time to fish "the bridge". In winter when the flows are higher and cold, bridges often provide some deep holes with softer water were fish can take refuge. I've played this hand before on slow winter days. After a quick thaw of the gear in the heated truck, some hot coffee, and renewed optimism, I went looking for bridge! Desperate times call for desperate measures and I am not above fishing junk flies. It wasn't long before the squirmy connected with the first fish of 2018, a hefty rainbow especially for a small stream!