To be honest, it's not really a thaw when there was no snow on the ground, daily temps were ranging in the mid to upper 30s and overnight lows were in the upper 20s. This non winter has been a joke, but at least I was able to take advantage of it and fly fish in the dead of January. Never thought I'd be able to pull that off in the Great Brown North.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get a good release shot since this fish still held some vigor and wouldn't sit still for me. For scale, that is a Ross F1 #4 reel, 4" diameter spool. This fish is in the 30" plus class. It always fascinates me that without a good reference, it is difficult on film to capture scale on a large specimen. The typical fish porn grip and grin photo is so overdone it's lost most of its cachet, however, aside from the super-extendo arm thrust pose, it does serve as a decent reference for scale and proportion.
Either way you cut it, it's still a nice fish!