February 23, 2010

Signs of spring?

Spring is creeping about, haunting my thoughts. The National Weather Service is busy forecasting for another major flood on the Red this spring as FEMA and the local media are busy hawking, pushing flood insurance down homeowner's throats. As people are starting to prep sandbags for a flood a month away, all this talk of melting snow and spring runoff has got me thinking sucker, white sucker.

WTS aquarium
Last year I made it out on February 25. Even though we are near the same amount of snow pack as this time last year (20+ inches), temps have remained fairly cool making it hard to think outside winter mode. Regardless, river flows are well above last period. The Otter Tail has been above the 80th percentile all winter long, and is now at record flows downstream of Fergus Falls as the Corps of Engineers plans maximum drawdown before spring run off. Flows will be high again this spring and will likely prove a challenge locating concentrated fish, and even harder getting a fly to them.

WTS aquarium 2
I've still got a few more winter missions planned before ice out. Late ice is always a hot time for filling the freezer and smoked fish. I need to get my share of tullibees this year. Meanwhile, I've been casual at the vise and my flies haven't really amounted to much other than a few Czech style nymphs ready for the first sign of the spring sucker run. Maybe it's the gray-skied daze or the stockpile of unused flies piled in my boxes from last year, but I'm just not motivated. Yet.

WTS litho
Maybe the first robin sighting or a day above freezing will break me from this funk. Just Maybe.