Thursday, January 27, 2011

Snowed In

I am growing a little stir crazy from not fishing for nearly two weeks. What I have been doing is working, tying trout flies, and shoveling crazy amounts of snow. A weekend ice fishing bender is in the works, so hopefully I'll have some fish porn to share soon instead of snow and fly pattern photos. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Trout Bum(mer)

Deep snow, sketchy ice and emaciated trout would accurately describe our latest escapade. Four anglers only managed two skinny browns during a half day on ice fishing this weekend. The trout population in this particular body of water is hurting from a decline in their main forage of land-locked alewives. Though illegally introduced, the alewives were the best thing that ever happened to trout in this lake. There are multiple reasons why the baitfish are dying off and it could be several years, if ever, before their numbers bounce back to where they once were. That means the holdover brown trout fishery we have been fortunate to experience over the last several winters is just a memory. It may be time to think outside of Connecticut  if I really want to target trophy trout through the ice. I can also stay local and focus more time on other target species like walleye and northern pike.

Photo credit: Aaron Swanson

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tidal Ice

Saturday was my first taste of ice fishing on tidal waters. It was on a local river cove where holdover striped bass are known spend their winters. Jumbo yellow perch aren't uncommon either. Since you have to hike in a ways, the plan was to stay light and stick to jigging. We left our sleds at home and scaled down to pack-baskets and 5-gallon buckets with jigging rods. Some bait marks flashed on our electronics and a few large signals suspended in the water column, but perch hugging bottom were the only fish we could coax into biting. A couple of smaller ones were sacrificed to feed a pair of Great Blue Herons that looked to be having a tough winter. Even without catching any of our target species, it was a good change of pace fishing so close to home and a great experience learning new water. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

White Stuff

Trout flies flew off the vise yesterday, but only after digging out cars, sidewalks and driveways from nearly 20 inches of snow. The Farmer's Almanac predicted it to be very cold and dry this winter. At least they got the cold part. I hope I don't sound like I'm complaining yet, I'll save that for this weekend I am pulling a sled-full of ice fishing gear through two feet of powder. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

Stocking Up

It must be winter because the anticipated Tuesday Tying sessions have resumed. Picture a half dozen guys in a basement eating pizza, drinking beer and tying various fly patterns with college basketball on in the background. That about sums up this weekly gathering in a nutshell. While I am more productive tying alone at home, these little get-togethers do a great job of breaking up the work week. There are some very talented fly tyers around the table to learn from. Also, not a session goes by where I don't laugh my ass of with friends. Tuesday Tying is good for stocking up fly boxes. It's also good for the soul. 

Barred Owl roadkill going to good use

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Ice Time

Friends and I logged some good ice time between the Holidays. Nothing real crazy to write home about, but we had fun and found fish on every trip. It was cool mixing it up for different target species like walleye, pike, trout, largemouth bass, and smelt. 

Here is to a happy and healthy 2011!

Photo credit: Aaron Swanson