Originally posted on November 15th, 2014.
Last Sunday my wife and I sat outside for lunch, I was wearing a t-shirt and was very comfortable. On Monday morning it was 65 degrees out; by lunch time temperatures had dropped to freezing. It was shocking to see how fast the thermometer continued to drop the rest of the week. Wednesday night Boulder experienced temperatures of -11 degrees (Fahrenheit)! I thought fishing was over for a while. On Thursday I headed to Saratoga, Wyoming to give a presentation to the TU group up there. My wife thought I was crazy when she learned I was taking waders and boots; I didn’t disagree with here, and I didn’t exactly expect to fish while on my short visit. But, I saw some nice water that was still open (much of the North Platte, where I was fishing) was frozen over at that time. So, I waded up and headed out before coming home. I learned a few valuable things while fishing in Saratoga. Here are some cold weather fishing tips:
1- When it’s freezing out, fish downstream from hot springs, fish and bugs will be happy for slightly warmer water. Saratoga is famous for its hot spring waters. I saw the water bubbling up, and it had this bluish hue and steam coming off it. I started fishing downstream from it.
2- When your feet start freezing go to hot springs and leave your feet there for a while. Neoprene and boots will absorb heat and stay warm for quite a while. It felt SOOO good.
3- ALWAYS fish near hot springs when it’s freezing out! Not sure why I didn’t realize this sooner…maybe because there are no hot springs near where I live. I suppose I’ll be looking at more 4-hour drives to fish in the coming months.
5- Not near hot springs? Stay home by a fireplace and tie flies That’s what I’ll be doing in coming days, and I’ll be using the upside-down fire method (this fire has been burning for about 1 hour and half now).
If there are no hot-springs where you are fishing, consider carrying some hand-warmers and gloves with you.