1-30-05 - The Southern Ice Clave II, part 2?
Waters Fished: Paradise Springs, McKeawn Springs
Fish Caught: numerous (at least 20)
Outing Date: 1-30-05
Air Temp: 30's
Water Temp: didn't take them.
Water Level: Normal
Water Color: Rainbow, Brown and Brook Trout
Pattern Fished: mostly egg patterns
Pattern Color: white was the hottest color
Fishing Quality: EXCELLENT
Winter Trouting is always fun. It's even more fun
when you do it with a bunch of guys! What started all of this? Well,
first we had a bunch of guys hanging around from the Ice Clave.
I also had Bill Hall coming up to pick up his new trout rod. All
in all, why not go fish the SE WI Spring Ponds?!
Sean beat us to Paradise and spent most of his
time looking for larger trout. Upon our arrival, we all took some
quick whacks at the stockers with egg patterns. The first few casts
to these undisturbed fish were the best bet at catching them...Sean
brought in a rainbow and the group skunk was off.
I had opted to try something different; I was fishing
the centerpin today. Floating my flies didn't really make much of
a difference in presentation, in fact perhaps it hindered my success
at first as the fish seemed to be expecting the flies to "sink
slowly" rather than "hang suspended". Deadwater float
fishing for these trout wasn't going to cut it. I moved to the springhouse.
Bill and Sean came over while Bob and Jerry continued
to work the casting dock. Around this time a couple folks showed
up around the springhouse...shortly thereafter we found ourselves
amidst the heaviest hard amber durham spinner fall I've ever seen.
As the semolinas hit the water, thousands of trout rushed after
the easy prey. I grinned, knowing I had just the pattern in my vest.
We all quickly changed over to what would prove
to be the deadliest fly of the day - white eggs patterns. They're
hardly an exact match for a hard amber Durham, but the rainbows
didn't care..the color was right and they were feeding with such
reckless abandon that anything white was gonna be just fine...the
heavy spinner fall brought out their hatchery instincts as the fish
tumbled over one another to grab the next meal that came floating
by. The older, wiser and more-educated browns meandered on by, taking
the occasional snap at whatever floated by but definitely not interested
in the churning insanity of the rainbows.
I definitely got my best float fishing practice
of a lifetime during this feeding frenzy. At first I thought my
fly was dragging the bottom, causing the float to pause and then
continue, usually pointing "downstream". After a couple
drifts I started setting the hook and well, every bump or pause
in the drift happened to be a fish. Crimped barbs were a must during
this madness...I don't know how many I landed, easily 20, hooking
a good 50 or 60 more before finally just saying "this is too
easy". It was about this time that I also happened to wade
in just a bit too far for my hip boots...soaking myself from the
I handed the rod to Sean and he got in plenty of
time with a centerpin as well. Meanwhile Bill was hooking into fish
consistently as well, landing several himself. I shouted down to
Bob and Jerry to match the hatch, it was working, and who knew how
long the frenzy would last. It was a now-or-never kind of opportunity.
When the activity subsided, we reconvened to find
that Bob had to left (he had obligations later in the afternoon
down in IL). With all of us skunk free, we decided it was perhaps
a good time to check out McKeawn for some brook trout. Bill was
kind enough to lend me a pair of sweatpants...otherwise I'd have
been pretty chilled by the end of the day (Thanks Bill!).
The footprints in the snow told Sean that since
our trip to McKeawn only 9 days before, only one other angler had
visited McKeawn. Despite this, we watched as the brookies scattered
at every cast...gone was their reckless abandon, replaced with all
the skittishness of wild trout in 8" of water. I had definitely
had my fill of fish, so I mostly watched as Jerry, Bill and Sean
took turns trying to coax a bite or two.
It was clear to see that the brookies had been
well educated by our earlier "session" over them...perhaps
whatever trout were in the main pond downstream would be easier
to get? Well, despite patience and good casts by Jerry, we didn't
have any more luck for the day. Around 4:30 PM, we called it quits,
no longer all that warm and already plenty satisfied with our outing!