It becomes difficult to tie knots with 5x tippet when the temperature drops to near freezing and your fingers refuse to work. This is the dilemma that I found myself in yesterday morning. While everyone else was clocking in bright and early on a Monday morning, I was looking at an ice cold creek attempting to will my numb fingers to submit and listen to my brain. By some miracle, I was successful in tying on a small dry fly to my brand new TFO rod. After logging many hours of painting these past two weeks, I convinced my fiance and ultimately myself that I had earned a new fly fishing rig. With a few months of researching, reading reviews, and trying then retrying different rods, I settled on a Temple Fork Outfitters Finesse 3 wt. My patience and deliberation payed off yesterday with the enjoyment that I experienced on Oak Creek. I actually had a bit of a scare with my new setup. By the second or third pool I noticed that something was wrong. The rod was either not casting or the line was not shooting correctly. After careful inspection I observed that the guides of the rod were starting to ice over. This was my first experience with ice (because who expects ice in Arizona) and for the first few hours in the morning I spent a good portion of time picking ice out of the guides.
Fishing was very slow with only two fish landed all day. I took my time and was able to spot several pods of fish before they were aware of me, but nothing that I was casting was appealing to them. I fished all day and found myself in a large still pool about the time the sun was leaving the canyon. In this large pool, trout were rising to what appeared to be caddis flies. I tied on several different flies to try and “match the hatch” but again had no luck. The size of my #16 flies seemed to be a tad larger then the flies they were feeding on, but the experience of actually seeing a hatch was very inspiring. Hunger, the cold, and a desire to see my fiance (and Budder) drove me back to the truck. Roaring off to the valley, I realize I am hopelessly addicted to fishing.