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Mark Stangeland - NUFlyGuide
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New Year, New River

Posted by Mark Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The more I fish the North the more I love it. The number of pools and places to fish seem to increase the more I learn it. This will be my 28th year exploring her banks I feel I am just now getting a feel for where fish are in all seasons with any kind consistency. I will never have it mastered and that is what drives me forward.

Winter fishing is a crap shoot at best. High and blown out conditions are quickly followed by low,clear and cold conditions. Trying to be on the river at THE perfect time is never easy. There is so much water to cover and the water level in a run you got them in last week may not be suitable or just plain un-fishable this week. Knowing the water levels and fish movements associated with those levels can't be taught. It can only be learned through years of time on the river. The mystery of winter levels is especially puzzling at times. The key is finding unpressured fish holding in a run where you can actually get a fly to them without dying. I would say that in the winter, there are large portions of the river that just can't be fished effectively with a swinging fly. The fish have the advantage most times,as well they should.

There is so much of the river that no one really fishes, even in the summer. The opportunities to hike into little fished spots are numerous. As everyone continues to pound the old familiars, I have enjoyed discovering new familiars. Fishing un-named pockets and runs is a always a new challenge....especially in winter. Wading is treacherous and the hazards are many. The rewards are worth the risk. I would rather catch a fish in a brand new spot with no one around then two in the "General Store".

The river is as wild as it ever was and rewards abound for those that seek. I will continue to search for the out of the way places,in doing so making the river come alive again for me. Nothing on the river is truly new or un-fished as many legends have been on the same journey as I in years gone by. But to me,as I walk through the old growth sugar pine, douglas fir and cedar, heading to a new section of river,it feels as if my steps are the first to ever grace her banks.

Get tight to one soon and
have a blessed 2013


  1. Anonymous Says:
  2. Awesome Mark!

  3. Randall Says:
  4. Great post, Mark!

    I always enjoy your posts like this one...there's really no substitute for time on the water. Being pretty new to the steelhead game, I look forward to when I know my home waters like the back of my hand yet still manage to learn something new every time out.


  5. Chemberry Says:
  6. This was lovely to readd


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