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Winter Fishing

Let’s preface this by saying that winter fishing is not for everybody. It’s cold, really cold. Crowley produces an inversion that makes Long Valley around 20 degrees colder than in the town of Mammoth. For example, January 5th, 7am, I took a drive to Hot Creek where it was -3F and Mammoth was 16F.

Ice coated sagebrush lined the trail from the parking lot down to the water. The terrain transformed overnight into a frosty landscape. Setting up a fly rod in frigid temperatures is it’s own feat. Ideally one would have gloves, or the back of a truck to rig up, but down by the water I had to focus every ounce of warmth I had preserved so that my hands wouldn’t fumble and drop my barbless fly. Simms makes a few gloves that are great for quick rig changes. The ExStream Foldover Mitt, pictured below, is great for this sort of thing. Come by the shop or give us a call to check these out!

The other issue you will face while winter fishing is ice, and lots of it. Stripping line in will cause guides to freeze almost instantly. But don’t fret! There is a cure for this! Loon makes a great product called “Stanley’s Ice Off Paste”. It is a non-toxic anti-freeze paste for lines and guides to help keep them from freezing, even when temperatures are dipping below 0. Most people who have been fishing for a long time have figured out which accessories they like to carry and keep it to the bare essentials. Loon’s Ice Off Paste is one of the products that is ALWAYS in every pack and vest I own, it’s small enough to throw in my pocket or can be attached to a zinger by the ring that is built into it. You can find Ice Off Paste and other

Loon Accessories here.

If you’ve never experienced it and you happen to be in Mammoth Lakes to ski our beautiful mountains, stop by the shop and we’ll give you the lowdown on current conditions. Frigid or not, fishing in the “off-season” is always an adventure and the fishing is great!

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Learn to Fly Fish with our First-Time Beginner’s and Family Packages

Whether you are an experienced spin fisherman or have no fishing experience whatsoever, the Troutfitter’s first-time beginner’s and family package will give you a full five-hour course in fly fishing conducted by one of our friendly instructors at a discounted rate.

This is not a public class but a personal course for just you or your group and can be set up any day of the week as needed to accommodate your vacation schedule. We can also provide transportation as needed.

Besides a licensed professional guide as your instructor, the package includes everything you will need for the day – rod and reel, waders, tackle, all flies and we’ll bring along a digital camera so we can send you a few pictures of your first day of fly fishing and hopefully the “Big One” that didn’t get away. You will need a fishing license as catching fish is what this class is all about, as well as learning all the basics of fly fishing. Licenses are not required for those under 16 years of age. If you do not have a fishing license, a one-day license is $15.69. The cost for the course is $155 per person in a group of two or $126.66 per person in a group of three. Contact us for discounted rates for families, large groups with multiple instructors.

We start out in the morning with about an hour on the lawn at the local park for some basic fly casting instruction, then move to a local stream or lake on one of our large boats and apply what you have learned catching a few fish.

By the end of the day, our target is that you should have gained enough experience that you can go out the next day on your own and catch fish!

Even if you don’t really intend to take up fly fishing as a hobby, this is a perfect way to complete your “alpine experience” with a day in the beautiful outdoors catching some trout and seeing what fly fishing is all about!

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