|Dry Fork (2/7/14)|
Do you think that this is the month that we start paying for December? I don’t know; it may be March and April. I do know that I am going to take advantage of all the tolerable days we get. I need fish heads for the tomatoes. I imagine there will be plenty of time to accumulate them; since we most likely will not be setting out warm weather crops until June. I don’t know what lies ahead. I just wake up every morning and go from there. No need to worry about it. Just go with the flow.
I do hope that the backroads remain passable during the rest of the winter. Catching a few fish is not worth the risk of becoming stranded somewhere out in the boonies. One must rationalize and use a little bit of common sense. The rewards usually are nowhere worth the risk involved. Hypothermia is scary. I’ve felt the first stages a few times. Think first before trudging on.
We may have a really good trout season looming on the horizon. I understand that 6 or so streams have been removed from the stocking schedule. I believe that they were all monthly allotted trout streams. Those fish will be distributed to other streams on the stocking schedule. More is always better. The warm fall and early winter also allowed the fish in the hatcheries to feed and grow more than during a normal year. Therefore we should have more fish and bigger, healthier fish. We can only hope that the stars line up.
Winter trout fishing can be very good; as long as snow-melt isn’t running into the streams. I have found that if snow run-off is flowing out of every hollow; fishing is pointless. Cold weather fishing really isn’t bad if you do not venture far from the vehicle. I really do not think one should venture away during frigid weather any farther than you can get back to a heat source if you would go for an unexpected swim. Run it through your mind as to how tough you think you are; then divide that by four. That should be about right. You do not have much time. Think first; live longer.
I used to drive to Marlinton about every day for work. I always left early if the weather was tolerable. I would stop on the upper-Tygart and catch two or three trout. I would leave when I couldn’t feel my fingers and stop on Knapps Creek and catch a couple more. That system worked pretty well for about three years. I enjoyed it, too. I had my freezer fish by the time the temperatures started warming and my catch & release fly-fishing time kicked in.
I do not anticipate the ice-fishermen being happy this winter. They are normally out there as of the time I am writing this. Not this season. It doesn’t bother me one little bit; I went ice-fishing once and only once. But, I do know many people enjoy doing so. I hope they don’t get too ambitious when we finally get a cold snap. Think twice and stay safe. Some like to ski, some like to fish and some even like to blow snow. Maybe everyone can be happy for once.
This is my February 2016 article for Two-Lane Livin
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