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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Summer During Winter

It continues to be an unusual winter steelhead season.  Much of the past couple months have been more like summer in my part of the world.  Water levels and weather have been unseasonably mild.  While I love the summer like weather and warmer water temps, I worry about what summer will bring with little to no snowpack in the mountains.  I vision low running streams in the summer and high fire danger.

I haven't "seriously" swung a fly for steelhead for the past couple weeks due to my Honda breaking down as I rounded the last corner before arriving at home from my last trip to the coast.  With a slipping transmission, it was time to grab a used replacement from a local wrecking yard and I ended up spending all of last weekend wrenching on my Honda.

I got out to the North Umpqua today with my friend Craig Coover as we ventured forth to seek our favorite prize.  We decided to fish some water less frequently used by the mob and enjoyed relative solitude in this beautiful place.

Of course with the mild weather, the water temperature was 48 degrees first thing in the morning and was up to 50 by noon.  This could only mean one thing - time to fish a skater for winter steel!!  In fact, I fished a skater with confidence all day.  For most, this would be insanity, but for me, I feel confident of being able to move even winter steelhead when water temps are 48 degrees and above (also noted in Bill McMillian's temperature date).  Some may ask:  "why fish a skater for winter steelhead?"  Instead, I ask "why not fish a skater for winter steelhead?"

I spent some time today fishing my newest color combo on my skater design - "Baby Blue".  I had found some baby blue Globrite floss at a local fly shop and loved the color, but had trouble putting a color blend together to make the floss pop just right.  I finally tried using an orange butt and pink cactus chenielle up front and I think I have a winner!

Unfortunately, I didn't raise a single steelhead today, but these mild conditions will keep me trying!

That seam fished a skater nicely

A beautiful day in a beautiful place

My latest skater - "Baby Blue"

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