Thursday, January 26, 2012

Open Water!

Stillwater beckoning in January
Finding open water on a lake above 7000 feet during January in Wyoming can be a bit difficult.  Warm weather and heavy winds can quickly change conditions on the plains lakes and with the right combination, it can be worth heading out and scouting around for any fishable water.  I took off and drove a circuit of the plains lakes, finding open water on a couple but it was too shallow to fish or too hard to get to without extreme effort.  Some lakes were still 100% capped as well.  My luck prevailed though, and my last chance stillwater had a wide swath of open water on the north side of the lake.  The wind was howling but I quartered my casts into it and managed to get some decent drifts with the nymphing rig.  I was day dreaming a bit when the first strike sent lightning back up the line and I missed the hookset on the first active trout.  After that jarring take I paid better attention to the indicator and started to pick up fish.  There was no mistaking their strikes as they were cruising through the open water and actively feeding.  Long underwear under my waders and pants prolonged my ability to stay and wade but finally I could take no more of the high winds whipping up white caps on the sliver of open water.  I headed back to town thinking about the coming spring and the inevitable open water it brings with it.

A healthy brown trout to start the day

Ice ledges ringing the lake

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