October 27, 2006

Last Days

With only a few days left in the Stream trout season (lakes), I headed down to my local trout lake. While watching the sun rise, I managed to hook into my first trout. Not much for size, about 10″ long, but still a good fight nonetheless. Gotta love those rainbows! The water temps had cooled down considerably and much of the emergent vegetation finally receded. Thoughts of ice fishing this lake this winter filled my head. The rustling of leaves quickly diverted my daydreaming to a forked buck browsing behind me. After a few moments, the buck passed, and I resumed my attention to the task at hand, fishing. I caught a few more yearlings before I finally hooked into something nicer. After a few minutes of fighting the fish, I finally landed the rainbow, it measured about 15″. I’ve caught bigger trout before, but this was nice. I hadn’t been trout fishing since Fourth of July weekend in the Superior National Forest and BWCAW. All in all, I caught 8 trout this morning, two of decent size. It was nice to get out one last time for trout this season and enjoy the fall breeze in my face. Before long, winter will be upon us and I will be back in a few months chasing those trout on the ice.

October 25, 2006

Ice Fever is Contagious

Frosty mornings in Northern Minnesota, frozen sloughs, and small lakes with skim ice are all symptoms an incurable sickness known as ice fever. Like a drake wood duck coming out of its eclipse plumage during the fall, these visual cues are as enticing to an ice angler as a hen wood duck.
The rush begins. Portable ice houses come out of the garage to air out; anglers take their permanent shacks out of storage to put “fall air” in the tires. Following the trends seen at the latest modification get-together, we tinker until the early hours of the morning installing new LED lighting, or the new must have gadget. The frequent trips to the tackle shop begin, drooling over that new hammered gold holie angel that just came out, or those purple minnow-glow ju-jus. You get into a debate while standing in line at the store about which flasher is better and why. Some anglers are so affected by the fever that they even “practice” with their new jigs and lures in a 5-gallon pail when they get home.