The early catch and release season opened last weekend, but it was still too cold for me and the fish. I was hoping that it would get above freezing this weekend, but yesterday I couldn’t wait any longer even though it was only 21° F at noon.
I was relieved to find there was open water in one of my favorite early season streams in Waudhara County. Swiftly moving trout water doesn’t normally freeze over around here, but with the extreme cold this winter all bets were off.
The sun was out bright and the sky was mostly blue. That, along with the cold temperatures, made the trout easily spooked and not inclined to take my spinner. I used my black-bladed version and managed several follows and a strike before I finally landed one.
The fishing was more work than usual because of the need to stop and melt the ice accumulating in the rod guides. After about every three casts, I had to melt that ice with my nice warm ungloved fingers.
I saw many large groups of trout, mostly running from the spinner. There were several big browns amoung the scaredy-cats, and I’m looking forward to some more interaction with them when it warms up later in the season.
The snow is still knee deep, so the hike back to the road was good exercize, especially after a mile of wading in a cold river.