After a month of often subzero and always below freezing weather, we finally got a series of days where the temperature has been high enough to keep the ice build-up on the rod tip to a minimum. And not a day too soon either. The cabin fever was getting so bad that I was resorting to chasing my mutt around the woods while wearing snowshoes. (I was wearing the snowshoes most of the time). Sunday I was able to get out to the trout streams for the first time in 2011, and in spite of the banks being piled high with drifted snow and ice, it felt great to be back in rubber pants. The day was sunny with temperatures in the high 30’s, and a wind blowing about 20 mph, but I was down between the bluffs fishing the Whitewater River, so the wind was of little concern. The water was 36 degrees, at normal level and very clear. Whitewater is one of many rivers that Minnesota allows winter trout fishing starting on the first of January and going on until spring. The special season has regulations mandating “catch and release and barbless hooks”. It was 1:15 when I stepped off the bank and into the water.
I started out throwing a Twist-less One-der bow spinner and stayed married to it the whole outing. There was no reason to change.
The high banks covered with deep snow and protruding ice ledges made fishing from the bank very difficult to almost impossible. I have found that, although it may not look it, wading is the easiest and most comfortable way to chase winter trout. Most years early winter fridged finger fishing is more or less a good excuse to get outdoors, enjoy the great scenery and if I land a fish or two, well that’s a nice bonus. Today though, was an exception, and even though the water was very clear and very cold, conditions that normally result in zero production, my first cast was followed out of the depths of a dark pool by a shadow, indicating the start of another fun outing. Four casts later I was releasing my first trout of 2011.
The rest of the day went very well; I would wade and cast for a while and than come upon some structure or pool that would yield a fish on almost every cast and than another stretch of wading followed by a flurry of action.
I stepped out of the water at 4:30 with a total count of 18 trout caught and released, an average of 1 trout every 10 minutes. All fish were heavy and ranged from 12” to about 17” in length.
The new style single hook worked almost to perfection, even being barbless, all but one fish that grabbed the TWIST-Less spinner was easily landed.
Well that about sums it up for now, a great start to another year of wade fishing.
One-der Bow and TWIST-Less spinners can be purchased now on line at eggersspinners.com.