First Fish of 2021

Brian Miller

Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
WFF Supporter
A friend and I had been watching the weather and CFS readings to do some winter nymphing with Tenkara rods. I tied up some Red Darts and made a 12' tapered fluorocarbon line using just a few feet of a hi-vis Tenkara limes; #3.5 (12lb) orange, then #3 (0X) chartreuse line, then a couple of smaller diameter clear fluoro sections to 3X ending with a tippet ring for my 390cm (12.9') rod. I tied in 4 Keiryu yarn markers above the tippet ring, then I tied in a little over 3 feet of 5x tippet.
(TBum photo)

On Monday, in a steady rain, with an air temp of 35°F and water temp of 39°F we fished for 2 1/2 hours. Man that was cold! I was wearing a 260 merino top and a Primaloft jacket under chest waders and a wading jacket with a merino buff, wool baseball cap, and fleece Inca cap under the hood. I tried 9 mil nitrile gloves over lightweight OR "Sensor" gloves and my hands were aching cold within 15 minutes. I swapped the nitrile for my old Cabela's Thinsulate Windstopper fingerless gloves and my hands began warming up. It looked like my buddy was just using garden gloves with nitrile palms-fingers/knit backs and seemed to be doing OK. I've used them with the fingerless Cabela's gloves before during winter salt beach trips with good results.

As my hands were warming up I watched as my friend landed a few Rainbow trout from 8" to 12" with a Squirmy Worm. I worked a couple of pools and managed to land 3 trout (I’m slow and take the time to log each catch); with the first one 15" and 2 more at 12" each.

I was very impressed with how easy it was to follow the clear fluoro line with Keiryu yarn markers. They were much more visible than the high-viz Tenkara lines, and (unlike hi-vis T-lines with tricolor sighters) adjustable for depth up to ~6'.

All in all a very good couple of hours where I also learned that for future winter freshwater or saltwater trips I'll use a Polarmax expedition weight top and bottom and add a fleece vest! I'll also experiment with different glove combinations before I go out again but have tossed some handwarmer packets my wife gave me for Christmas in my gloves bag.

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