As I write this, I am looking out the window at one and a half feet plus of snow. There certainly is no lacking in the white stuff this year. No lacking in the cold department either. It has made things tough on the open water fisherman. Many of my favorite stretches of stream are frozen this time of year.
Icefishing "scratches the itch," but it certainly does not do the justice to cabin fever that a dancing steelhead will. This year has been slow on the hardwater front as well, with chub fattened Walleye that are reluctant to eat. We are catching dinks, but keepers are few and far between. Underwater camera pics show their presence but an overabundance of shad in Saginaw Bay this year has them fat and sassy.
Every "warm up," in the weather has harkened me back to the stream. On the west side of the state, we have been managing about 3 tangles with chrome a day. The east side rivers are frozen (some of the west side rivers are too).
Went fishing with new friends Matt and Paul this past Sunday. New to the PM, but not new to steelhead fishing, these guys are good fisherman. They approach a day of fishing like a puzzle to solve. Each drift can give you another piece to the puzzle.
Matt wraps some sweet rods. You can check em' out here. These really are some of the nicest looking rods I have ever seen. The guy wraps a great looking bug too...
Paul is a west coast fisherman. Not Michigan's west coast, the real west coast, Western Washington to be exact. Paul has the confidence and steelhead sense to be successful anywhere he fishes.
All three of us landed fish yesterday, going 3 for 4 total on chrome with about a half dozen trout thrown in. Not too shabby for a 32 degree day. We didn't even get to fish some of the more consistant producing spots as there were quite a number of folks out there as well.
This time of year can hold surprises. Pockets around heavily fished holes start holding fish as they disperse because of the commotion fishermen bring. Finding these spots can make or break your day.
Headshot, Matt's fish
Matt with chromer 2/6/11
Cold fishing 1/9/11
Hooked up in the slush 1/9/11
Doing the "Steelhead stab"
Yours truly with a double stripe buck
Beat up buckeroo from December
Streamers designed to piss off a steelhead! (hopefully)
23 inch Wally
A rod that Matt wrapped, check em' out here