Which was just as good since Monday morning dawned bright and early with a 10F temperature at the start of my guided adventure. Once again I had Loren Williams from flyguysoutfitting.com as a guide. Before heading out from Whitakers, Loren suggested I rent a pair of their Orvis boot waders which he believed would be better at keeping my feet warm. I am grateful that I followed his suggestion. I used those waders for the three days and not once did my feet get cold. So with all my fleece layers and my new Techwick base layer and my new 300 fleece jacket not only was I warm, but I swear I looked like a giant marshmallow! And there were times when I hiked along to another fishing spot when I did break out into a sweat. Any way I look at it, I was having a blast.
It was so cold that I could get maybe two or three casts before there was too much ice in my guides! Forget Stanley's Ice Off Paste, it was just too darn cold. It was so cold that I had ice form up on my waders which I didn't know about until I went to take a big step downriver. As I stretched out to move I heard a sound that was something similar to a rip. I looked down to see what on Earth was going on with my waders when I saw the ice. There must have been almost a half inch of ice that had circled each leg and then froze them together. Wicked! When I took my step I was actually breaking apart the ice. Now that was something I had not experienced before. Still makes me laugh now when I think about it.
That was the fish for the day and by 4:00 (yes, I made it the entire day) I was ready for a warm room, dinner and company. I had a great dinner at Eddy's with Paul and Sue, fellow flyaddicts.com members. They were also up for a couple of days fishing for steelies. We had a great dinner along with the usual fish stories. What was really neat for me was to meet another gal who loves these fish as much as I.
Tuesday was another 8:30 am start and this time the temperature was a balmy 15F. I think it might have warmed up to 25F that day although cold is cold. And oh yeah, the wind had picked up.
On Wednesday we started earlier and hit the water by 7:30am. It was warmer in that I think the temperature was closer to 25F and may have it 30F before we fished. The wind was also absent. My God, it was almost warm enough to wet wade!! I had another fun fight with the most beautiful hen steelie (no picture) that took the fly just as it finished the swing. I had on and lost - GROAN - a fairly big brown trout as well. Oh well, the heart still got thumping but what a bummer to have lost that one. We ran into a few more anglers but all in all the river was never too crowded.
December cold, steelies and solitude on the river. Already I am looking forward to another Dec. 2011 trip but why wait till then? I am actually thinking of heading back up in Feb. which is a hell of a lot closer than 11 months!!
Here are some more pics from the trip.