« Fly of the Month: Flashback Mercury Black Beauty | Main | Holiday Commercials »

December 11, 2008

This page has been moved to http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/flytalk

If your browser doesn’t redirect you to the new location, please visit The Fly Talk at its new location: www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/flytalk.

Skiing and Fly Fishing?


This time of year starts to really be a bummer for anyone who fly fishes and and lives in the northern hemisphere. Yes, I know you folks in the south can fish all year and you folks in the north can ice fish. Let's face it though fishing slows down - even in the south. Oh, and drilling holes in frozen lakes to catch fish - don't even get me started... Ice fishing flat out sucks if you ask me. It's just a step above watching paint dry.

Every year around this time I start to make the transition from fishing to skiing. While I fish all winter it's just not quite as easy to get out and have fun.

We hit upon an idea the other day though. What if we could utilize snowmobiles and/or backcountry (AT) skis and get to a location that didn't freeze in the winter to fish. By fish, I mean cast a line. We could take a couple of days and camp. Fishing and skiing the entire time. Does this location exist on planet earth? I'm thinking it's gotta be a tailwater deep in the wilderness or some stretch of river kept ice free by springs for spell. Does anybody know of any place like this or ever heard of anything that stays fishable that you could ski to?



TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Skiing and Fly Fishing?:



my home "resort" has some ponds up top that freeze. But there are native streams that are just out-of-bounds. I scouted them last weekend and plan on hitting them up in the next few weeks.

There is also a Tailwater a bit south of me that would require Snowshoes or CX skiing to get to the remote sections.

Also there are a good number of PA limestoners, all which do not freeze and are fairly remote.

Matt Penttila

Even with the ice in, there is still the Swift River here in MA, and the Miller's is still producing for a while longer. As long as you have a tailwater and some deep holes, you can go all year 'round.

The Trout Underground

Some of us have been doing it for years (http://troutunderground.com/2008/01/13/the-skiing-fly-fisher-at-least-the-skiing-was-fun/), and the biggest benefit is you know that nobody's fished the water since the roads closed.

tim romano



That trip is close to what I'm talking about, but I want real skiing. Not a skin in on a road.

I want a place where i can hike and do laps on skis in the morning take a break and have a cold one and fish right next to my camp in the afternoon. I realize this is asking a lot, but hey I gotta dream, right?


This might be worth a look. A few summers ago I fished the Yampa River in Colorado. Drove into Steamboat Springs and said to myself that I could live here. That is, until I opened the real estate magazines. Steamboat was named one of the most beautiful places on earth. That's, unfortunately, reflected in the real estate prices.

The river forms from the tailwaters of the reservoir at Stagecoach State Park. HUGE rainbows that have seen it all live in the public access tailwaters. I ran into one lady flyfisher that had even named each of the challenging brutes. One evening a mule deer crossed the river 20 feet from me while I was playing a cutthroat.

I was told this is winter elk range so the access road is closed to vehicles in the winter. Wondered what it would be like to fish this and other nearby stretches in the winter. Camp at the park or stay at a lodge in Steamboat, cross country ski, downhill ski, snowshoe the mountains up to Fish Creek Falls, flyfish the rivers. Not quite wilderness, but as close as you can get while just touching civilization.

Another option is the South Branch of the Au Sable River in Michigan as it meanders through the Mason Tract. Need advance permission from the DNR to camp, though. Two tracks are typically inaccessible by vehicle in deep snow (from first hand knowledge) and there is a foot trail along the river. Some people canoe camp the stretch and stay at Canoe Harbor Campgrounds. Can cross country ski and I believe snowmobiles are okay on the two tracks. This is a protected rustic area. Only remaining structure between Chase Bridge and the campgrounds is Fisherman's Chapel - a small solemn structure to stop and reflect. Catch and release browns and brookies.

Or, if you are into Hemingway and really freezing your butts off, there's the Big Two-Hearted and Fox Rivers in Michigan's UP.

tim romano


thanks man. This is the type of info I'm looking for. Much appreciated!

Brian T

Watch the Winter Olympics in Whistler/Black Comb, BC. Those skiiers look down on Alta Lake. Yes, you can do both.


tim, we talked about this before. quit trying so hard. move your butt to austin and you won't have the winter fishing blues any more, or freeze your balls off. and it even snowed there the other day (sort of)!. and fishing can be insane on the coast in jan/feb.

tim romano


I love Texas. I love the fishing. It might be some of the most fun I've ever had on a fly rod. There's just one little problem...

I'd have to live with all you damn Texans. That my friend is a tough pill to swallow.

Alex Pernice the 13 year old fly rod winner

Skip the Ski, come to my hometown and fish my river for the winter carp run, there big, strong, and Deeter can come too.


tim, ummm....you live in colorado...you are already living with all them damn texans. anyway, we're being invaded by californians (same ones that are invading boulder) so it's not as bad as you think down here.


and tim, you might even keep a tan for a couple months at a time...

tim romano

hey now...


As you know, the Frying Pan is an incredible river and fishes great all year long. There is a ton of back country skiing all along the Frying Pan corridor and even a few huts. Not so much backcountry while fishing (but way less people once the snow flies) but the skiing can't be beat and catching a massive brown in the toilet bowl is the cherry on top. Call if you come this way. I will join for sure!!!


haha, tim, you know i'm just playing...austin's getting too crowded as it is, but would rather have appreciative fly fishers like you than all the bozos moving there...(sigh).


plus, if you really needed a vacation, you could always go to....COLORADO...hehe...




i say go poach jelly stone.
you didn't hear it from me.
and if you go, take me with.

tim romano


poach it where? help me out and you're in.


Seriously? There's help for people like you. Just ask man. I'm sure someone will show you how to really fish.


more or less, that idea was just something that i thought would be dope. i have no details as of yet, nothing a little research couldn't cure. could be a pretty epic trip, however... snow caves, tele's and split boards, lotta food, oh yeah, and cutty's.

Jon Malovich

hit with an e-mail if you want some sweet access for the Backcountry Ski/Fly Fishing experiance of a lifetime in Utah! are you willing to ride in a Heli!


tim Romano


Hell yes, I'd love it. I'm traveling and on my laptop. I have your email stored on my desktop at home. Could you hit me with your email at [email protected]



Our Blogs



 Subscribe in a reader

Add to Google

Add to My AOL

Add to Technorati Favorites!