Underground Entertainment

The Frozen North(ern California)

Posted by Tom Chandler 1/14/2013

It's California damnit. It's not supposed to be like this.

This morning it was 9 degrees outside and 33 degrees in my downstairs office, which means I was working in fingerless gloves, a fleece hat, fleece pants and a Nano Puff jacket -- roughly the same clothes I'd wear if I was chasing the BWO hatch on the river.

(With careful wording, I could foist a report from this morning's work session on my readers as if it were a fishing report: "Despite my frozen hands and frostbitten toes, I never saw a fish or a BWO".)

It's been cold enough that I'm starting to feel like one of those people too lacking in common sense to leave Northern Montana for the winter.

Almost Fishing Reading For A Cold Winter's Day

I was researching something for a new client when I came across a pair of Paris Review interviews with Thomas McGuane and Jim Harrison.

This is proper literary stuff (in other words, it's not related much to fly fishing), and they're from the mid-to-late 1980s, but McGuane and Harrison remain stars to most fly fishermen, so read away and enjoy.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we're looking at daily highs exceeding 40 degrees this week, a thought which brings tears to my eyes (I would have cried before, but the tears would have frozen in their ducts).

See you heading for the river one of these days, Tom Chandler.

AuthorPicture

Tom Chandler

As the author of the decade leading fly fishing blog Trout Underground, Tom believes that fishing is not about measuring the experience but instead of about having fun. As a staunch environmentalist, he brings to the Yobi Community thought leadership on environmental and access issues facing us today.

21 comments
trout chaser: In any event, sounds like you’ve got a handle on the vernacular of politics. That's one of the known unknowns (I think).
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Normally this is the place to gloat about southern year round tailwater fishing, bluebird day bwo hatches in the mountains...... I think the fish god's may have smitten me for simply planning to gloat with great torrents of rain, sleet, ice and general yucky weather ... roads washing out in GSMNP tailwaters at levels even the sinking line streamer perverts can't fish ...... nothing to do buy dress ... more flies and go to work here either..... oh and goof off on the internet
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....Tom Chandler; Grand Poohba of the State of Jefferson.....Damn,sounds good.....
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Tom Chandler: That falls under the heading of unknown unknowns… In any event, sounds like you've got a handle on the vernacular of politics.
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I can't imagine the upcoming spring and summers calming down up there. The BOR and NMDGF completed some habitat improvements last year and in my opinion they did a really good job. The bigger fish are spreading out and in the flats you can't move anywhere right now without discovering redds and frisky breeders (constant water temperature has shifted their baby-making season). That population of trout ... more is only going to improve and that will only attract more people. Heck, on the coldest day I've ever fished I estimate there were at least another dozen and a half anglers on the three quarters of a mile of river that I was playing on. That can't bode well for the high season in terms of pressure and crowds and the horrors that follow.
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For a while, friends described the San Juan (during the high season) as something of a horror show. Has it calmed down some? I'd gather winter isn't typically that crowded, but wonder about the other seasons.
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Kentucky Jim: Fuck Montana, and northern California, for that matter. I can't help but admire your consistency. 40 degrees today, and little puddles appearing atop all the ice.
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trout chaser: You planning on running for office any time soon? That falls under the heading of unknown unknowns...
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Tom Chandler: Reality isn’t what is. It’s what I want it to be. You planning on running for office any time soon?
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Provocative, "cranky comment-inducing"? Fuck Montana, and northern California, for that matter. I did not leave Kentucky for this shit. 17 degrees a few mornings ago. I coulda had that back in Kentucky. It's been below freezing for the past five or six nights. Bad case, bad, bad case of the Shack Nasties...
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Did you say something about the cold in northern Montana? Couldn't hear you through the ear muffs.
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I guess I'm kinda glad I've the San Juan to fall back on. It was negative something when I started on Saturday and reached a balmy 22 degrees F by 2 pm. A couple of times I cursed myself for not wimping out and buying heat packs for my gloves. I broke gear and my camera got bitchy and snotty about being dunked in 42 degree water and then waved around in sub-freezing air. My guides froze up after about ... more two casts and my reel may have seized the moment I got it out of the car. And at one point my waders froze up while I climbed out of the water and I pondered if I'd spend the rest of winter standing there like the tin man. Yet, I managed a glorious picture of a 19" 'bow and I had a stellar fishing day so I don't *recall* being cold. Much.
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Lucky Sultz: Hey, welcome to the real world Tom. 25 in Kalispell this morning and it may get warm enough to melt the ice in my guides by afternoon (maybe). Cutts are taking streamers. And I left California for this! Hey, it's the Real World where I live. In Mt. Shasta, we're supposed to get lots of snow followed by warmish days so the snow melts. Instead, every snowflake that fell in that pre-Christmas ... more series of storms (and it was a lot of snowflakes) is still on the ground. Reality isn't what is. It's what I want it to be.
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JP2: Oh, the humanity!……and it’s been what, in the 40s in San Diego? Here in the Evergreen State( state flower a big ol’ Sativa bud)it’s finally above freezing but not geting much warmer…..Temps in the single digits mean only one thing to me….Belize,here I come…. I'm almost giddy with temperature-related excitement -- it reached 37 degrees today at Underground/Man Cave World Headquarters.
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When I moved to Boise oh so many years ago from N.Cal everyone said Oh the low humidity makes for very dry snow and the cold was not as bad, true great skying but my freaking guides still freeze ! single digit lows every night with highs in the teens all week, no BWO's this week or next darn it,hang in there Tom maybe you should about some heat in your office
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You're going to give me a complex, Tom. Well, another complex, that is.
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Hey, welcome to the real world Tom. 25 in Kalispell this morning and it may get warm enough to melt the ice in my guides by afternoon (maybe). Cutts are taking streamers. And I left California for this!
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BTW -- For this post alone, Mike Sepelak is going to hell again.
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Carol: Tom, watch those remarks about Montana!crazy is as crazy does, I always say.19 in Ashland this morning and I left MT for this? The Underground stands by its provocative, cranky-comment-inducing remarks about Montana (also Northern Idaho, Alaska, and most of upstate New York and Maine). If I've gotta break out the heat gun to open the car doors and deal with six-foot long icicles, I want access ... more to miles of giant fish and small streams all summer. Failing that, I reserve the right to freely insult those in other states. Man's gotta have outlets.
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Oh, the humanity!......and it's been what, in the 40s in San Diego? Here in the Evergreen State( state flower a big ol' Sativa bud)it's finally above freezing but not geting much warmer.....Temps in the single digits mean only one thing to me....Belize,here I come....
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Tom, watch those remarks about Montana! crazy is as crazy does, I always say. 19 in Ashland this morning and I left MT for this?
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