I haven’t caught a fish in a few days.
It’s like an addiction, I suppose. The good news is sometimes I can satisfy my urge to fish by tying flies instead. Or practice-casting in my driveway. Or making my way through all of the Orvis Fly Fishing Podcast. Or blogging about fishing. Since I don’t have any pictures of fish to show you, hopefully pictures of the flies I’ve been tying will suffice.

Sakasa kebari with gold thread and guinea (?) hackle I picked up at the craft store for WAY cheaper than at fly shops

It hasn’t been super cold, but it hasn’t been super nice either. I haven’t been able to find fish no matter how hard I tried. This weekend I fished the Fox with Sam (early am); later I fished the Dupage… Before sunset I fished Salt Creek, and Sunday I explored some new stretches of the creek. No fish caught. I saw a bunch of black minnows in Salt Creek in an unusual place- in the middle of the creek in not-too-shallow water, but they were the only finned animals I saw.
I find it hard to believe there weren’t fish here in this deep hole in an eddy off the main current… I just couldn’t figure out how to interest them (on the Dupage)

I saw some deer eating by the creek, and am starting to know what it sounds like when there are deer hanging out nearby. Rustling and stuff. I used to be terrified of deer, for no good reason. I’ve come so far!
I keep thinking the fishing might pick up once it gets colder; perhaps the fish will congregate at warm water discharges. At least I’ll know where they are at that point. I know I’ll be visiting that new spot on the Salt once things cool down even more.
Gold-ribbed hare’s ear nymph

And of course, there’s trout. I’ll be in Michigan for turkey day, and there seems to be no shortage of places to find trout around Grand Rapids. Will trout be active even though it’s cold? Is there any chance I can even catch one? If I can sneak away for long enough, I’ll go back to the Rogue and find out.
Obsessively reading an article about wet fly fishing, it mentioned fishing riffles to find fish. It suddenly hit me that in all of my trout fishing (hasn’t been that much, just a few trips) I’ve been looking for trout in smallmouth spots! Eddies, current seams… but not riffles. And not runs either, if runs are areas of fairly shallow water between riffles. It boggles my mind to think that there are fish hanging out in 6″ of water in riffles, but the internet says it is so.
I wonder how many trout I cast over or walked over on my way to “the spot.”
Now that I’ve made the realization that I really have no idea where trout are in any given river, I won’t make the same mistake again. I will fish the whole thing and figure it out for myself.
Adams, elk hair caddises, soft hackles with dryer-lint-dubbed thoraxes, hare’s ear nymphs, griffith’s gnats… I’m running out of places to keep all these flies


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