Saturday, March 26, 2011

Return Of The Ice

I headed out in the afternoon to get in some water time after the big storm came through and cooled things off Friday night. It had warmed up and the sun was out, I had no inkling that the cold front was strong enough to seal back up large portions of water on the plains lakes. I fished a couple openings and tried to break through the ice to get out far enough in my waders to cast past the ledge but it wasn't working well. Too many hangups on the ice edge. After a couple of hours of fishing, warming up, having a Fat Tire, and taking pictures, I packed it in resolved to try another day.

Self portrait on the ice

Ice formations on the lake edge

Friday, March 25, 2011

River Walk With The Flycasters

The University Flycasters have reformed here at UW and are hosting informal meetups on Friday nights. The first one was on the greenbelt and Tony Hoch of the Laramie Rivers Conservation District did a walking tour and talk about the recent river improvements that have been put in place. It was a great and informative talk and a few of us brought rods along to try to find some brown trout in the new habitat. We had a great turn out of people tonight and I am looking forward to some of the other evening outings.

A brown trout from a nice river hole

Group photo - we had a great turn out even with the snow

Brian working for trout

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Muskrat Visits

I made it out this evening and fought off a little bit of ice in the guides to cast on a nearly 100% ice free lake. The cold temps and dropping sun had me shivering a bit but the muskrats were out and active as the sun was setting. One particular guy swam up and down the shore three times right under my rod. They aren't known for having good eyesight. I had one run into my leg while wading one time. It was a bit startling to say the least. The action was slow but I managed a couple takes and one to hand. At least the fish are there and active enough to keep you on your game.

Open water everywhere

Releasing a rainbow with some color

A little video of the muskrat on his third pass

Monday, March 14, 2011

Evening Water Time

With daylight savings time here, trips after work have a better chance to happen and I managed to find some water time tonight. A little wind helped me out for some slight wave action and that got the flies moving and attracting fish.

A nice piglet for this lake

A smaller rainbow release to end the evening

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Chunky Spring Rainbow Trout

I got a little time in on the water before the incoming storm took over the valley. I went back out and worked some open stillwater and came away with a decent, colorful rainbow that couldn't resist the nymphing rig. A little more of the lake appeared open today. Hopefully this storm won't cool things down enough to close up the water we have gained. I had a good time watching the geese fighting in their nesting area across the lake. They were really pummeling one outsider and he finally got the message after being chased halfway across the lake.

The storm blanketing the valley as I fished

Friday, March 11, 2011

Brief Water Time Pays Off

I had the fly rod in the vehicle and had a little time between errands and responsibilities so I checked on a nearby lake to see how the ice was faring and possibly throw a line for a short break. Sure enough, there was enough open water to take advantage of and I found one willing rainbow trout in the short time I was there. The hot head leech has proven itself to be the ticket so far at ice off time this year.

Ice is receding

A rainbow starting to show a little color

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tigers Lurking

I didn't find any fish tonight but it was nice to prowl the shores of a small impoundment that promised a chance at the elusive tiger muskie. I managed about an hour of casting before the darkness sent me on my way. I did have one good pull on the black twister tail fly, but no hookups. I am going to keep my eye on this place as the water warms up and the fish get a little more active, I think it could provide some good summer fishing.

Some promising looking water with birds everywhere

This sign had me hopeful

The sun finally left the sky telling me it was time to head home

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fox On The Move

I set up my neighbors game camera to see what has been frequenting the patio here at home. I was mostly wanting to make sure I didn't have a skunk. With my luck, I would end up getting sprayed. Luckily, it appears to be a red fox using the area which doesn't concern me. They are rather entertaining to watch and I can use the natural help in keeping the mice, rabbits, and ground squirrels under control.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Open Water Found

Running some errands out of town, I decided to bring the fly rod along and just scout a couple lakes at lower elevation. The thinking was that maybe some of them would have some fishable water. Sure enough, I was able to locate a little open water on the southern end of a suburban lake and I decided to give it a shot. I was the only one out there with a fly rod and the couple of ice fisherman at the other end had to think I was crazy. I got some steady takes on the hot head leech but only hooked and landed a few in the cold wind. All rainbows of the stocker variety but still rather uplifting to get some action on the fly rod on open stillwater. I'll take my first open lake fish on March 5th any year I can pull it off.

Open water with Canadian Geese and Mallards enjoying the lake

My first two open water fish of the season

Friday, March 4, 2011

Lake Scouting

I took a drive after work this evening and scouted some of the local lakes before the darkness fell and drove me off the water. Yes, I found some open water on one of the lakes. I would say it was about 30% open. Unfortunately I couldn't get any takers on the fly rod. It certainly felt wonderful to cast a nymph rig on open water though. I saw ten or so fish in splashy rises or tailing or with their backs up and out of the water taking something subsurface as the sun set behind the mountains. The open water and coming new spring season has filled me with hope.

First open stillwater of the season