Tuesday, January 16, 2018

2018 Winterfest

2018 Winter Opener


This year's opener was a record setting one for the group. The morning started out at 6 degrees, with a layer of 1" clear slush in the waters surface. Add keeping a watchful eye out for passing shelf ice and you could call it cold and a little sketchy. But....the option was "not fishing", therefore we donned our gear and got in the water.



Len, warming fingers



Re-rigging takes on a whole new life when you can't feel your fingers.


Doug had the 1st hookup, but it ended with a break-off, as did our first 3 hoop-ups of the day. Could have been too much pressure, or ice. Either way, we were not doing well to the net.



About mid-morning I finally convinced another fish to pick up my #6 Coyote Ugly...and the fight was on. Heavy fish.


Tying The Coyote Ugly 






Problem was....my reel was frozen solid, and I only had about 30ft of line out that I would manage the fish with. I was essentially fishing with an 8'3" 6wt Tenkara rod. 





Thank goodness for a little room to run (or as close to running an old fat guy wearing waders in 9 degree weather can get anyway), and the net work of Len....we landed her. 



The ice gave up an estimated 28" hen. 




It was a quick recovery and even after a lengthy fight, she was impatient to get back and shot away with strength. 


The only fish landed on the trip, but a great weekend overall, and we will take it.  Along with the still recovering fingers and toes. 


Good friends and good water.