About two feet of snow was being carved away by the flowing water, making Myrtle Creek the perfect picturesque winter stream. At first I couldn’t wait to step in the water.
I have fished this creek before in the spring, with some success, and couldn’t wait to wet my line. Despite the clouds and snow that surrounded me, the temperature was not bad at all.
I rigged up to do some euro nymphing and proceeded to work every rock that a small, unsuspecting fish might call home. As I worked my way upstream, I came across a large undercut snow-shelf that had been carved out by the stream; underneath the shelf there were large icicles that exist only to the person stupid enough to be standing in the water.
Just ahead was what I was looking for: a deeper hole that fish would hold in during the winter season. In the winter it is crucial to carefully approach fish because they seem hyper-sensitive and will spook at the slightest disruption, even more than normal.
I crouched down to approach the hole like a heron, each step well thought out to make the least amount of noise possible. I flicked my flies in the best spot, doing my best to stay out of sight.
I stayed low while thoroughly working the spot, and was rewarded with nothing! Desperate to see a fish, I walked through the hole while keeping my eyes peeled… I was now purposefully trying to spook fish, just to see if they were there! Nothing, not one scurrying fish. Not a good sign.
More snow-shelves meant more hidden icicles, leading to more pictures.
Every snow-shelf I came across had icicles of all sizes, no two snow-shelves were the same.
Some icicles were thick and some were thin, but this next seemed to be upside-down!
As I walked up the stream I half-heartedly fished behind bigger rocks and small runs…just in case.
Every portion of this river looked picture perfect. The bridge just upstream was my ending point and, as you guessed, I was sure to snap another picture.
I went back to sweeping my flies under large ice and snow-shelves for the home stretch, and in the process I stopped to snap another picture of hidden icicles. Apparently I like taking pictures of these things.
Catching was nonexistent today, but I still enjoyed every minute in the stream. Obviously the icicles alone were enough to make me happy, not to mention being surrounded by snow on a stream. It’s days like this that remind me of how much I love doing what I do.
In the end I took 173 photos of the day on the water, which is a bit extreme, even for me! I crawled my way onto a large ice shelf that looked thick enough to support me and walked back to the car skunked for the day, not at all feeling as though I had walked away empty-handed.