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Preparing for Ice Off

By March 22, 2014 No Comments

Ice Off Fly Fishing, So Cold, Yet So Hot! big-brown-trout,-Yellowstone-River,-Utah As it is easy to dream of balmy, wet-wading summer days that I associate with the incredible hatches and dry fly opportunities the west in renowned for, you cannot overlook the ice-off and early spring fishing opportunities of still waters, an appropriate segue into the stream fishing our area is known for. As the days grow longer and warmer and the ice recedes, the surface water undergoes an aeration process, growing rich in dissolved oxygen due to its exposure to the atmosphere and wind for the first time in months.  Simultaneously, this surface water warms and mixes with nutrient-rich subsurface water levels, in the turnover process that lakes can experience multiple times in a season. Why is this important to the fisherman?  While this topic may cause  drowsiness with some (reminiscent of high school biology lectures), knowledge of this process is another step towards a better understanding of the biological entities that make us better fishermen. The mixing of nutrients and oxygen after ice-off marks the beginning of of an elaborate, growth cycle of plants, insects, crustaceans and fish within the body of water.  This, along with the changing light and water temperatures are important to the growth of aquatic plants, the base of the food chain upon which insect, crustacean and baitfish populations are built. If you’re there at this time with the correct arsenal of flies, you can take advantage of this phenomenon of nature. Trout know that hatches are about to get going and crustaceans and baitfish will be active and available. Taking advantage of ice-off is a time honored tradition in fly fishing, the harbinger of spring and your first chance to land big spring trout.]]>

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