2015: The Spring That Never Sprung

By: Josh Sheldon

After being in Ohio for a short time, it was a rude awakening to find a foot of snow still hanging around here when I returned. True sportsmen will work around any issue to get outdoors, while the not-so-die-hard will just whine about the adverse conditions.

Over the years, I have learned to go with the flow when it comes to weather. There is no way to change it, so learning to deal with it is your best choice. With trout season opening yesterday, I'm sure there were some cold and wet fishermen out there. Some of which likely learned their lesson on staying dry and warm by taking the plunge. The way you prepare for any outing will likely affect your comfort and success rate. For this reason, I recommend being over prepared rather than under prepared. The gear you choose and how you intend to use it will surely have some bearing on your trip. Having some inside info never hurts, either. Sometimes it's the most simple of tricks that can put fish in the frying pan and save the day.

Ice fishing seems more appealing to me with the snow lingering, but the trout don't care. They love cold, highly oxygenated water, and actually seem to bite just fine in it. It's us that have to adapt to the less-than-favorable conditions. Lucky for us, the snow in most areas is crusted over, which allows you to walk on top of it, rather than have to trudge or use snow shoes. This will grant access to most streams, but also creates some possible dangerous scenarios. We all have seen undercut ledges of ice and snow, and the overhanging shelf can resemble a dunking booth at times. If you aren't aware of its presence, one misplaced step can collapse the ledge into the water. A dunking in nearly freezing water can easily ruin your day, and even threaten your life if unprepared. To prevent a dunking and hypothermia, I use a couple different techniques.

Chest waders are the best way to stay warm and dry. Even if you happen to fall in, they tend to let little water in and still keep you warm when wet. Entering the stream wearing waders can be easy or pretty complicated considering the bank conditions. I choose to grab a fallen tree limb and jab at the overhang until it collapses into the water. I then use the stick to determine water depth. Four feet of wader in five feet of water can be problematic. I also take a 50-foot rope, so that I can tie to a tree and lower myself into the water rather than slide down a steep and slick bank. A rope can be your best friend in muddy or icy bank conditions. I have entered spots in the past, and not been able to get out, because the bank was too slippery. Your rope will allow you to pull yourself up the bank and save you a long walk in some cases. I have walked downstream for close to a mile on several occasions, just to find a place to safely exit.


The Evening Sun

Continue reading your article with a Premium Evesun Membership

View Membership Options


Official Evening Sun Facebook

pennysaver logo
Shop4Autos logo
greatgetaways logo
Official Evening Sun Twitter