4 days late to the new year and I get the call to go fishing. The last time I fished the Trinity as it blew out was a long time ago and documented in a now archaic media format. I mean who had time to watch those DVD’s anyways. Lol.
Winter fishing is all about, well, simply put, just going. Whether it be steelhead or trout, it doesn’t matter. If you’re looking for numbers in the winter, take up surf perch fishing. It’s prime time for them. I got the invite via text at 9:30pm and was bouncing around the house getting gear together- waders, fleece, jackets, beanies, rod, steelhead flies and a fresh can of non flavored chew. Fired up to go fish with two friends, maybe find a few and certainly get wet. The way it should be.
Departing at 6am the following morning and hoping our buddy that lives over the hill got the text to meet us at the ramp. And please bring YOUR boat so we can get there faster from Redding by not towing one of ours. Don’t forget, the river is going to blow out tomorrow and time driving is time wasted.
Alarm goes off at 5am and shortly followed by a text from Anthony. Lonnie’s in, and by the way, I’ll be there at 5:45am. With what the weather station is calling a category 5 atmospheric river bearing down on Northern CA, we all know we only have a few hours to fish today. Time sleeping is time wasted.
The drive leaving Redding over Market St., with the Sundial Bridge lit up in the morning darkness, the rain has yet to start. It’s eminent so push on with a sense of urgency and excitement. Over Buckhorn Summit, through Weaverville and down to Junction City, we meet Lonnie at the JC Store, suit up in our Simms gear and head to the put in to splash the boat.
The atmospheric river has begun, just before the sun comes up. When the guys return from the shuttle, no one has decided what color fly to tie on. In that early morning light, you really don’t get true feedback from the river on the water color. While some people would error on the side of guessing, none of us want to be wrong, so we sit in the rain and wait. As the morning light brightens absent of the sun, our decisions are made and we push off. The river is stained with about 2 feet of visibility for now. Perfect! The river hasn’t risen and is flowing around 632 cfs. A little surprising but we know that will change.
Fishing on the fringe of a fishable river has its perks and we nailed it! It’s all about going fishing. If you only go when the conditions are good, I get it. Who doesn’t like a sure thing? But in fishing, there are no sure things and living on the edge opens the experience up to some special outcomes. Dreaming about fishing in only perfect conditions is also time wasted. Sometimes, you just have to go to see for yourself.
The fishing? Well, let’s just say the fishing was all that we expected and we are stoked that we had the day we had- hooking fish, losing fish and landing some dandy’s. We hope you can make it next time.
Ready for an adventure?