Tag Archives: creative writing

10 Reasons Why Fly Fishing in the Off-Season is Better

First and Foremost, I apologize for not writing in so long. The month of October was a bit crazy for me. I went on vacation then came back to 5 midterm papers and two exams. Also I started planning my wedding and booked all of my main vendors! It was such a relief. I hate planning anything, at least anything but fishing trips.

One of my favorite things about this beautiful place I live in, is the transition the from the hot green New Mexico summer to the beautiful golds and oranges of the fall. The greatest craving I get during this transition is a great bowl of green chile stew as well as a full day of fishing. So if you are a winter lover like me, get out there and catch some fish! Here are 10 of my reasons why I love to fish in Fall and Winter:

1. Cold Water and Fat Fish Trout prefer colder water. Towards the end of summer the fish are lethargic and existing in minimal numbers due to the dangerously warm waters that we see in late July and throughout August. By the time the weather cools off and the water cools with it, the fish are ready to start biting again. The fish have been eating all summer due to the mass amounts of hatches that summer monsoons bring. Catching a fat, 12+” brown trout in a tiny mountain stream is a blast!

Cebolla River--October
Cebolla River–October

2. Adios Warm Weather Only Fishers The weather is getting colder, and most of the tourists who fish are gone, and the warm weather only fishermen and women are headed back to their safe warm home while awaiting the warmer weather of the next summer. There is nothing wrong with being a warm weather only fisher-human. Fishing in the cold is hard. I never used to fish except in the summer. Now that I have the right gear, a stronger will, and the desperation to get out and fish, fishing in the cold weather is much easier. It’s not that I don’t love people, I do! I just prefer not to see people on the river while I am fishing.

My siblings and I in the Cebolla
My siblings and I in the Cebolla “River” Valley in the Fall

3. Beautiful Fall The Weather is colder, the leaves are changing, and the summer rains are long gone. There is nothing more beautiful that the gold and bronze colors of the Fall here in New Mexico. The golden leaves against deep green of the pines as the leaves begin to change. The contrast of the golden dried out long grass against the earthy browns and greens of the stream.  The Cebolla stream valley is one of the most beautiful places I have fished in the early fall. You can see from the picture here that the aspens are turning orange and that the grass is a dried sandy brown. This valley is located in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico behind the Seven Springs Hatchery. It is the perfect place to begin your fishing adventures in the summer and end them in the late fall before the snow closes the road.

First time Fishing the San Juan was in January!
First time Fishing the San Juan was in January! “Burrr- Cold”

4. Snowy Scenery I’m not sure if it is only because I am a desert rat from New Mexico, but when I see snow, it makes me extremely happy. The cold is a monster for fly fishing. Keeping your hands and fingers warm is impossible, you dread every snag, and pray that you won’t have to reach your arm in and pry your fly off of a branch or rock in the river. My first time fly fishing in winter was in January at the San Juan and it was icy cold. There were so few fishermen in the braids I couldn’t believe it! Usually you see a person on your right and left, no matter where you are on the river. Fishing in January was a whole new experience. It was quiet, cold, and it felt like it was just my Dad and I on the river alone. Although it was cold for us, the weather was perfect for the fish. It was this January fishing venture where I caught my first fish over 12 inches!

5. Clear and Gentle Water Now that the mountains are cold, the summer run off is over, and the sediment has all settled, the water is clear as can be and the current is not too daunting. The clear and gentle water means you can say goodbye to the bulky strike indicator and use a dry dropper combo on its own. By taking off that extra weight on your cast, you can plan sneaky, beautiful, well-placed casts into the perfect eddy to catch that fat fish.

6. Fall Hoppers The weather has cooled off and the grasshoppers are slowing down, but the fish are still hungry. There is nothing greater than seeing a fish literally gulp at a big grasshopper dry-fly. I have seen tiny 5 inch fish grab at a big hopper. I have seen a big 20+ inch fish gulp at a hopper. Fall fishing with a grasshopper dry-fly is a blast if the fish are biting at the top of the water.

7. Post Fishing Reward There is nothing better than getting packed up after a long cold day of fishing and heading to the nearest place to get a beer or even a nice warm hot chocolate.

Broncos, I Love you, but Sundays are for fishing. Sorry, Kylie
I Love you, but Sundays are for fishing.

8. Football Keeps the NFL Fans Away Everyone who knows me knows that I would rather be out on the river than stuck at home. I am a Broncos fan, my grandparents live in Denver, they’ve had season tickets for centuries, my Dad watches every game,…. blah blah blah….. Take me fishing instead! I’ll put it on the DVR if I really want to watch it. A lot of other people are not like me. For example my fiancé hates having to watch games after they happen because he already found out the scores. People who are die-hard NFL fans will most likely spend Sundays at home. If you do not mind the cold of fall and winter fishing, go on a Sunday.

9. Sales Sales Sales In the winter most fly fishing shops and companies do big sales, whether it is just an off-season sale or the full on Black Friday blow out, fall and winter is the best time to find great deals on fly fishing gear. Also be sure to check Groupon, Living Social, and Amazon local for guided trips that are on sale during the off-season.

10. Fall and Winter are Just Better than Summer I may just be an anti-summer, cold weather loving, type of girl, but to me it is much better to be cold than hot, and I think the fish agree. I always catch more fish in cooler weather than warm weather.

Lastly, I just wanted to let you all know that I have convinced Diego to let us do a super outdoorsy and adventurous honeymoon. We will be driving to Yellowstone for a few days and camping either in a car or in a tent and the from their drive up to Glacier National Park and stay in a cozy cabin. I am curious if any of you have camped Yellowstone and fished, and if so where is the best place to tent/car camp near great fishing in August?

Why to Love Fly Fishing

I thought I would do a different kind of piece this time. Rather than write a how-to, or a description of one of my fishing ventures, this time I am sharing a creative piece I wrote describing why I love to fly fish.

Last semester I was taking one of the most challenging and rewarding classes I’ve ever taken, called Stylistic Prose. One of the challenges my professor gave us was to write a short paper without using any of the forms of the verb “to be.” That includes the words “is” and “was” and “are”. Can you imagine talking that way?! What an enormous challenge! I wrote that paper and found out my writing was immensely improved and action-packed. Alright, alright, enough geeking out! The point is this is my fly fishing piece in this style.

Here it is, why I love to stand in that cold water all day fly fishing:

Scenic River shot of the Green River, UT. Most beautiful place I've fished.
Scenic River shot of the Green River, UT. Most beautiful place I’ve fished.

Fly fishing succeeds as a stress release and a quick escape for people worldwide. The sport of fly fishing revolves around the use of your wrist, cautious finesse, and understanding the river. The fly should never whip the water, instead, it floats through the air and falls gracefully on the water. This positioning of the fly on the water replicates the moment when a bug would fall from the tall grass above, onto the river beneath. The fly line, carried by the ebb and flow of the water, moves from eddy to eddy awaiting a bite from below. Ah-ha! You see the fly dive beneath the water, and the time comes to set the hook. At the elbow, bend the arm back away from the water in order to establish a firm snag on the fish’s mouth. While holding the rod in one hand, use the other hand to manually pull the fish on the line towards you. As the fish pulls, jerks, and leaps, release line, and gather it again. To achieve ultimate success without losing the fish, or your fly, you must tire the fish and force him to exert all his energy. At last, after precious time and energy elapses, the fish sways in the water close enough to net. Finally, you grasp the fish in your hand, and gently remove the hook from its mouth. This small victory lasts less than a minute. A few short moments and the fish bolts from your hand into the river ahead. The river calls and beckons, and you cast the line back into the water, re-casting and casting, until the next fish bites.


See you next time!