Snow can turn the most dreary of landscapes into spectacles of wonder. A perfect blanket of white neatly layered over hills and buildings, emanating peaceful beauty. Beyond the visual appeal, what resonates most is the silence. Layers of snow, damping vibrations and absorbing sounds, create moments of calm reflection and a most welcome refuge in an otherwise noisy world.
The day after a snowfall, we can glimpse into a world often unseen, where tracks from critters are literal storylines; tiny prints stamped on a blank canvas. The scenery is different, but nature moves unphased, subtly documented upon the layers of frozen moisture. Days like this it is a privilege to be along a river.
One last winter hurrah we tell ourselves. Half a foot of snow dumped on the city and even more just to the north. Heading away from the salt ridden and slushy roads of the Capitol, the snow remained undisturbed along the spring creek banks. Arriving at midday, it was a welcome surprise to lay the first tracks in pursuit of trout.
With a snow covered horizon, the polarized lense is your greatest ally. Clear skies and unwavered sun beams refracting off snow will quickly burn eyes and alter vision, an unnecessary obstacle that is easily avoidable. Still, it was difficult finding fish. Traditional runs proved fruitless and a lack of cloud cover made a stealthy approach not easy.
After many casts in vain, combing seams and changing flies, success was eventually found in deep slow runs. Nymphing a hare’s ear and worm pattern proved the winning recipe, although a brief wisp of clouds passing over brought several fish to the surface on a #18 BWO.
After a long winter and mostly frozen February, this was an excellent introduction to spring fishing and the adventures that lie ahead.
*All photos provided by Charlie Church