The winter has set in. The temps have settled to freezing or maybe a little warmer on the sunny days. The snow has started. The highlands will snow lock up soon. The water temps have dropped to 36 or less. Fish are hibernating. Like Randy the fat skunk that lives out under the shed.
I have fly tying orders coming in which is keeping me busy. But without things to distract me from the cabin fever like I used to have in the offseason the anxiousness is starting. My roomate is restless. Ready to spend 2 weeks on the OP. His restlessness has transferred over to me.
I am craving something familiar, but new. I have chased steel and salmon but it has been a while. I am a different angler than I was last time I landed something with my spey stick. I got it out today…forgot how big an 8 wt 13.6 ft Spey actually is.
Winter steelheading and I don’t always agree but its been a while. I am not a fan of the cold. But its much colder here on the homewater. Living in the PNW one does have to get comfortable with varying degrees of cold. I am looking forward to camping and chasing fish. Rediscovering what winter steelheading on the OP is.
It is familiar but new. The rivers, the gear, reading the water, the rythym of the day, its all fresh which is something I am looking forward to after a long and very trout focused season. Taking a week or two to plug back into water, fish, the boat, and the people sharing the experience with you seems like a good way to kill some offseason time.
There is the anticipation now. Tying flies, squaring away gear, packing for camp life, and doing all the stuff and things that are the preamble to the trip. Feels good to be in that place after a month plus off.
So I will see ya riverside on the westside anglers. Headed out Monday with the Hog. Stay tuned for more.