Fishmas before Christmas?
I bet most of you have fishing traditions. Maybe you fish certain rivers on certain dates every year. Perhaps it's a fly you try yearly out of old time sake or an old favorite rod. Or maybe you meet a long time fishing partner at a spot you fish every season for a weekend of memories, laughs, and casting flies. The scenarios for fishing traditions can be endless.
One tradition that I have is fishing Christmas Eve with my brother Mike. Most of you know Mike. He's the man that puts all the content I write into this fancy website he built, the guy that is quietly walking around the shop with a clipboard working on inventory, or the guy that we refer to in fishing reports as "Streamer Stan", or his knew nicknames like "Euro-Man" or "Iron-Mike". In years past we have fished the Grande Ronde, Clearwater River, or elsewhere on Christmas Eve, but anymore it makes more sense to hit the Spokane for a few hours especially when weather is not quite cooperative.
This year the weather was just fine for fishing and actually fairly pleasant. We normally don't fish with anyone else on this day, however, this season our uncle from Bozeman was in town and crazy enough to fish with us in the cold weather so he tagged along as well. All three of us are on the euro nymphing bandwagon so we packed the nymph lobbers with us and hit the river for a few hours. I must say, while I enjoy spring and summer fishing the most it is nice to have an entire river to yourself.
Fishing was pretty decent with the slightly warmer temps we have had and it was more productive than last year's bone-chilling 23 degree air temp and one single trout. Mike was the high stick for the afternoon and saw some nice redbands slide into the net, all falling victim to any stonefly nymph dressed up in peacock herl. Aside from catching fish on nymph rigs, I did manage to briefly stick a fish that was rising consistently to midges on a small soft hackle swung under the surface. Unfortunately, it was just a brief hook-up, but nonetheless cool to see a couple trout rising late December on midges.
As we approach the end of the year I'm sure most of you enjoyed some of your yearly fishing traditions and now that the days are slowly getting longer we can all look forward to repeating those traditions in the upcoming season. Until then, it's a great time of the year to restock the boxes, dream about all the past trips this year and the fish that got away.