As I got in my Jeep this morning to come to work, the thermometer read +19 degrees F in my garage. As I traveled the last mile to my job, the temperature read at minus19 degrees F! Deep freeze time. I had to get up twice during the night to throw another log in the stove.
As far as fishing goes, minus 19 F is much too cold for me. In fact, last Saturday my son and I visited our favorite winter spot on the lower Henry's Fork and it was around +17 degrees F and we lasted only about an hour-and-a-half. At least the wind wasn't blowing or I think we would not have lasted five minutes. I did a tying demo at a local shop in December and decided to purchase a new Sharkskin line with the Gift Certificate they gave me. First trip out with the Sharkskin, and I realized that not only do I have a problem with ice in the guides at lower temps, but the texture on the line leads to the line freezing to the guides more readily than smooth lines - double whammy!
So, how cold is it where you are, and what is your personal limit for getting out on the water temperature wise?
Zero here in southern Vermont this morning, but windless, so not so bad. Mid-20's is my lower limit for getting in the river, unless the wind is up, then forget about it altogether, just tie flies or stare out the window.
Fortunate to live within 25 minutes of the Batten Kill's 3-ish mile year 'round "trophy" stretch. Fly fishing only, catch and release required. Other than that, you pretty much have to fish, er, hard water.
New Year's morning, mid-20's, low wind:
Today is warm for the time of year we ar going to see +2C which is about 36F, but we will see temps down to -30C ( -22F) or colder. I usually try and go when temps rise to -5C or warmer, but I have been fishing during a temperature change when it went from +5 to -30C in a few hours. The iced up guides should have been a clue right?
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The sun just came over the horizon and it’s 30 degree’s here. Fished yesterday afternoon on the lake wearing hiking shorts, a long sleeved tee and a light fleece zip-T top. Afternoon's are going up to the low to mid fifties and when the down-slope breeze abates, it feels more like the low seventies.
Kelly: It has been in the -10 to -15 degree F range here in the mornings for awhile now, I haven't been out fishing, concentrating on tying instead. My neighbor has the flu and is getting better but still extremely weak so I volunteered to help him feed his horses, currently he is boarding 16 horses in the lower pasture and I think another 5-6 in the upper pasture. He drives his pickup out into the lower pasture and parks next to the hay stack, then starts a tractor (that was an adventure in those cold temps) that pulls a hay trailer with an auto feed device, pretty slick setup. The only issue is that we almost got stuck in the snow, but by slowly working our way back and forth we got the rig moving and successfully laid out the hay for the horses. Once back at the hay stack we loaded hay onto the trailer for the next day (I had forgotten how much those 75 lb bales actually weigh).
Then we put chains on the tractor, that was an interesting chore but we got it figured out so we are set for today. He doesn't feed until 11 am to let the sun warm the temps up a bit so it isn't so miserable, actually with ski pants and a heavy down jacket it was pretty nice out. Prior to heading back to the farm, we stopped at the water trough and it had about 1 1/2 inches of ice so we broke that out for the horses to drink water.
Today I get to try starting the tractor and driving the rig to lay out the hay. I figure with all this farm work, I should apply for a Green Acres Merit Badge!
Mid 20's is about it for me to get out on the streams and rivers. Below that there's just too much ice on the line, guides, leaders and even the flies. I'll fish in a drift boat in colder conditions provided it had a propane heater blowing to take off the chill.
It was 12 here this morning walking the dogs. With the over night lows forecast in the teens the next couple days the banks are getting choked with ice and the pellet heads are getting lazy. With my Ma still on the mend I'll be a bit before I can hit the water but typically I'll fish as long as I can find open water. Believe it or not I look forward to getting out of my jeep when its that cold, I'm the only guy you'll see in the parking lot taking clothes off to get ready. See I lack a drivers side window and a rear windshield so after a hour's drive I'm peeling off layers to warm up in the balmy 15 degree weather! Oh the things we do for tight lines and good times!
It was -20 in Victor two nights ago after i came over teton pass about 10:30pm. So fricking cold. Somehow I let my special lady friend talk me into doing some Cross Country Skiing yesterday. Guess what? She took me down a trail that follows the snake. All i could think about was why I didn't bring the fly rod. I think she did that on purpose...she is such a cool girl! Happy New Year!
On the 1st drove around looking for water.. but with such low flows coming into the winter.. a lot of streams were frozen solid.. ended up calling it a day.. was 17* out that day..
Got out yesterday.. was around 20-30*.. which is a lot more comfortable for winter fishing.. and still didn't end up catching anything.. though we did get a chance to scout some water which neither of us had fished before.. winter is a nice time to at least scout new waters as you're not bush wacking through the thick brush come spring/summer.. the only time it started feeling cold outside was when we got back to the car that day to find out the battery was completely dead.. waiting in the cold for an hour while my gf found us was when it was getting to feel too cold...