Things to do in Craig when it’s 20 Below.

As the snow tapers off and the temperature drops, we head into a solid 36 hours of butt-ass cold weather. The weatherman says -20 or more (or less?) coming Friday night, and that “Real Feel” map says -40 all over the region. We’re not coming into work today. No need to be here for shuttles and we don’t like the idea of staff or friends driving in sketchy conditions. Sara and Braden will roll in Saturday around noon when the temperatures hit the zero mark. Hopefully.

So, what can you do on a day like today? Not going outside is the primary goal, so what can we do inside that’s fishy? Personally, I’m planning on cleaning my half of the bedroom (Seriously Julie, I’m going to do it this time. Probably after Mike & Mike, though.).


First off, let’s watch a few video’s. On Friday morning you can head on over to the Orvis blog for the Friday Film Festival. Phil Monahan usually puts up 10 or 12 of the newest and best fly fishing videos every Friday, so we don’t have to. I did find this one in my video feed that I really like. It hardly has any views or likes, but the camera work and editing are fantastic. And it’s nice to watch some relaxed Steelheaders that catch fish. Really good stuff.

Warning: this is a foreign film from Canada and there are no subtitles.


Hopefully you caught my blog about Chris Dombrowski’s new book “Body of Water”. Perfect on a frigid day as it will transport you to a white, sand bottom flat in the Bahamas with the sun beating down on you. Nice and warm, and one of the best fly fishing books I’ve read in ages. If you want to go classic, grab “92 in the Shade” by Thomas McGuane. Perfectly warm story for a polar vortex. Not interested in reading about fishing? Anything by Cormac McCarthy, but you need to be in a quiet place with no interuptions.


It’s probably not healthy to watch as many fly fishing movies as some of you do, so why not try something different. Just head over to Vimeo (NOT YouTube!) where artists and creatives hang out. Type a subject into the search box and go. Or better yet, hit the Vimeo Staff Picks where you’ll see all kinds of creative edits from all over the world. Here’s an unfitting video I watched last night. It does have lots of Northern BC in it, but no fishing.


Does anyone do that anymore? Dust off your fly tying kit and whip up a few bugs. That will make you forget that trees are exploding outside. When I sit down to tie I have 1 of two plans:

1. Tie a bunch of a single pattern to fill the box for the upcoming season. This is probably going to be a tailwater-nymph, Buzzball’s, or maybe even some basic peacock/grizzly/bronw buggers. Whatever I decide on I stick to it, I don’t even change hook sizes.

2. Come up with something new. To do this effectively you need to have some parameters, like “summer steelhead, skater, low-water, late season” or whatever. DO NOT just sit down and try to invent an entirely new style and/or fly. Pretty tough to do, and you’ll just end up staring at a hook in the jaws of your vise for an hour before realizing it’s the wrong hook.

And remember, if you’re going to tie flies on the dining room table, you need to clean your room first or your wife will get pissed!


You need to plan this one in advance, and you can’t do it in a single day. But if you live in the upper-midwest you have months of Polar Vortex in front of you. There’s a lot of ways you can go here, but it’s hard to argue with one of the ready to build kits from Swift Fly Fishing / Epic Rods. Not only are they the best ready to assemble kit out there, the actions of these rods are superb and you can choose between multiple colors of most blanks. The kits may seem a little pricy at first, but if you’ve ever sat down and ordered all the different components from 3 different catalog’s you know the value of a ready to go kit. Order it now so it’s ready to go!


I actually just did this one the other day, and my reel bag and all my tangles lines and shooting heads along with it. Apparently I’ve either purchased or stolen over 25 verse-leaders from headhunters fly shop in the last year. I am pretty excited that my gear is ready to go, no matter wheat the river or discipline. For years I have done this the night before my first guide trip of the season. Or not at all. A lot of times I end up with some lines, flies and old spools of tippet that I know younger anglers would appreciate and I pay that stuff forward. If it’s not going back in my tackle bag today, it never will. If you decide to switch back and forth between compartment fly boxes and foam fly boxes each year – like I often do – this project may take several days.


I never really got into this one.


This is a Mark Raisler special. I think he does it every morning, not just when it’s below zero. But it’s still a great project and you’ll forget about it until you make that first false cast weeks down the road. Loon makes some great line cleaning products.


You’ll never do this when the season gets into full swing. Perfect chore and doesn’t take nearly as long to find and fix the leaks once you get a few tips from the wader repair page over at the Simms Fishing Wader Repair page.

OK, that should at least get you through lunch, unless you headed over to Facebook after reading this. Looks like things will be fishable next week, but still a bit on the cold side. See you after the Polar Vortex!

Previous Post
New Boat Smell…. ME!
Next Post
Sub Zero Saturday

Related Posts

No results found.

1 Comment.

  • Reading between the lines suggests that shopping for the right Christmas present for the wife is crucial too. Especially after the bedroom gets cleaned, flies get tied, lines get cleaned, movies get watched, new rod is built, and the new boat smell fills the air. Funny stuff…………..Great blogs this week John!

Comments are closed.