After another week of cold and snow, many anglers are ready to say, “uncle”. We are truly in deep winter now, although temps may try to climb a bit this week. Most creeks, streams, and rivers are ice-covered or have large amounts of shelf ice.
The winter fly fishing is pretty much in deep freeze mode right now. All local creeks are frozen over – streams and rivers may have open areas but beware shelf ice and anchor ice. The Salmon River and other Great Lakes tribs remain open but marginally fishable due to ice, snow, and cold. Douglaston Salmon Run reports that anchor ice is present, making angling challenging and dangerous. Flows at the run are currently around 450 CFS. Water temps remain very cold at 32 – 33 degrees. If fishing the Salmon River, wade carefully, bring extra clothing, layer up, wear studs, and always carry a good wading staff.
Fly fishing events for February are as follows:
- The LACKAWANNA RIVER FLY TYERS CLUB meets every Thursday night at 7pm, October through March, at A&G Outfitters. Anyone is welcome to attend. They just ask everyone to contribute suggestions and ideas on patterns to tie. BYOB (Bring Your Own Bobbin)! And A&G notes beer is acceptable too!
- Tying Trout Flies at A&G Outfitters will be held on Thursdays in January & February @ 6pm – a total of 8 nights of tying trout flies. All tools and materials included. Cost for this class is $50/person. All ages welcome! Contact the fly shop for more information.
- BC Flyfishers will continue to hold fly tying classes through February and March. The classes will teach the skills needed in fly tying in a progression, from simple techniques to advanced. Several different instructors will conduct the classes for different types of flies.The classes will all be held from 10 am to 1 pm at the Endicott Public Library. The cost for classes is $35 for adults and $20 for students ages 10 – 17. The schedule for classes is as follows: February 14 – Streamers, February 28 – Caddis, March 14 – Mayfly Dry Flies, March 21 – Other Dry Flies, and March 28 – Steelhead flies and Advanced Techniques. Contact any BCFF board member if interested or check the chapter’s calendar for more information.
- The BC Flyfishers will also be holding their monthly meeting on Thursday, February 26th at 6:30 pm. As usual, the meeting will be held at the Endicott Public Library in the downstairs meeting room. The meeting will start with a fly tying demo and book sale, followed by guest speaker John Shaner, a BC Flyfishers member and previous speaker. John will make a presentation on the Chalk Streams of England, considered the cradle of the Dry Fly. Dry Fly fishing as we know it was originated there well over 100 years ago and it is still the preferred method and sometimes only method allowed on rivers like the Test and Itchen. However, nymph fishing also was first developed here, so the most popular methods of modern Trout Fly Fishing both came out this crucible. The Chalk Streams actually share many similarities with American Spring Creeks, Limestone Rivers, and Tailwaters and the methods used there can be adapted to many of our waters. While many think that English anglers are stodgy and tradition bound, most are actually quite innovative and open to new methods. John will show some of both the traditional and modern approaches and relate them to our own rivers and conditions. John has many years of guiding experience, especially in Colorado and points west. As a retired guide, John became a representative for many well know fly fishing companies (Orvis, Cortland, Hardy, to name a few). John is an excellent and knowledgeable speaker and you will not want to miss his presentation.
- The Twin Tiers Fiver Rivers chapter of IFFF had to once again cancel their February meeting due to bad weather. Originally scheduled for February 2, canceled and rescheduled for February 9, the chapter had to cancel yet again and will soon announce the reschedule date. The chapter was planning on hosting club member Dr. Mark Metzdorff, an avid fly fisherman who is relatively new to this area. Mark will be presenting on Oregon fly fishing opportunities. This is a great opportunity to gain some insight on waters you probably haven’t fish but would like some more information on from a seasoned veteran. In addition to talking about fishing out west, Mark will be discussing some of his background related to fly fishing organizations he was involved with out west and the initiatives these organizations worked on.
- The Al Hazzard TU chapter will be holding their February meeting on Tuesday, February 17th at 7 pm at the Vestal Public Library, speaker to be announced.
The week ahead will feature a little bit of a spring teaser. Daytime highs will range up to the mid-30’s to the mid-teens through Thursday, but will then plunge to highs in the single digits and lows close to minus double digits. Hard core anglers should expect slow fishing, and should dress for severe cold, and be safe. Be aware of the presence of shelf and slush ice in rivers if fishing any of the tribs.