In the world of a fly-fisher, January can be an interesting month. Yes indeed, the first month of the year brings many firsts to the angler. The first fish of the year is certainly a quick one to come to mind. I personally have a soft spot in my heart for the first fish of the year. For one, it’s something we all (no matter the experience level you bring to the river) have in common. You’ve got to get that first one before you can get your second...or hundredth. For some, it’s already happened. For some it may not come until the annual family trip to Montana in June. Countless others will not only be heading after their first fish of the year, but also the first fly rod fish of their life. On top of the first fish of the year, maybe you’re also looking for that first trout on a fly you tied yourself. (Which, I might add, is something you’ll never forget if you happen to fall into this category.) January also presents ‘firsts’ in countless other ways. For many, it will be your first month to use that shiny new fly rod, reel, waders or boots you just received a little over a week ago. Over the holiday season we had over 500 boxes head out the door to places all over the country so I know that statement applies to a lot of you! There are more firsts to be had as well besides just using new gear. Maybe you’re finally planning that first fly-fishing trip to the saltwater or some other far off destination you’ve drooled over for years. Better yet, maybe your finally planning your first fly-fishing road trip around your home state. Or….perhaps you’ve finally made spending more time on the water your first priority. All good stuff to say the least.
One thing is for sure though, no matter where you’re reading this, there’s still surely some fish out there to be caught--even if that does mean drilling a hole in the ice. In Colorado however, at least if you’ve got a tailwater handy, the fishing is still quite good. Pick your day wisely (i.e. look for sunshine and warmer temps, not blizzards) and focus on midges, eggs, worms and baetis to all produce. Don’t forget though, your most consistent producer isn’t going to be your flies….it’s those two things right above your nose. Put on a good pair of polarized sunglasses and really focus on sight fishing to actively feeding fish. This is the prime time of the year to fish this way! While this often means covering quite a bit of ground and spending quite a bit of time not casting, the payoff is always worth it. (and by payoff I mean large Winter trout) **Picture in upper right corner-I took this picture last week at Deckers. This is a happy winter fish that has pulled up shallow and is actively feeding, otherwise known as what you're looking for!
As I look at the calendar for this month, one thing seems very apparent- it’s going to fly by. Between some in-store presentations, the Fly Fishing Show and Fly Fishing Film Tour, it will be February before we know it and we’ll all be getting antsy for Spring to get here (in case anyone isn’t that way already)
As always, thanks for keeping Trouts in mind when it comes to your angling pursuits. If there’s anything we can do to make your time on the water more enjoyable or productive, please let us know. Now get out and there and cross some ‘firsts’ off your list!