Freezing fog, barred teal flank, and a late pheasant

Freezing fog coats the grass on a Rogue River December morning.

Upper Rogue River mornings have grown quite cold with temperatures down and below freezing. The valley fog can get quite thick for most of the day. The steelhead fishing is pretty slow with the fish inactive and the number of fish still down below 6,000 total. I have carried the flyrod along to sample and test the water here and there, but I’ve primarily carried the shotgun for good action.

That drake should supply some good sized barred flank feathers.

Glad I’ve discovered waterfowl hunting. What a compliment to Rogue River steelhead flyfishing! When cold conditions put the Rogue River steelhead fishing on the lam, the birds provide an interesting alternative. And one not any bit less challenging.

First off the birds are there, flying and puddle jumping even in the now freezing fog mornings of the Rogue Valley. Then there’s shotguns, shotshells, warm clothes, wading gear and even decoy spreads to think about.

My new mallard decoys look quite natural anchored along the Rogue.

For the fly tyer there is the great side benefit of providing oneself with all those wonderful duck feathers. The drake teal provides very vivid barred flank feathers that are very useful in the creation of steelhead and Atlantic salmon flies.

A good days bag!

Teal and pheasant.

Fisherman’s Pluck again? Couldn’t help but feel very lucky when a second late season pheasant crossed my path. Now I can look forward to two delicious pheasant meals over this winter. I certainly have saved all the pheasant tail for fly tying. I’ll have to tie and try the Pheasant Tail Nymph for steelhead and trout during the coming year.

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