As did a lot of people on Saturday, my buddy and I went to Strawberry Reservoir to get some of the ice-off action everybody's been talking about. We arrived nice and early and parked at the dam.
There was a ton of open water near shorelines, but the ice (floating slush islands) still blocked a lot of access along the cliffs. With the water so high, navigating the cliffs required some hiking up the hillsides.
The fishing was pretty slow for both of us, unfortunately. All of my catches were smaller rainbows and a miss from a slot sized cutthroat near the shore.
A lot of bites came on a gulp minnow, a couple from a chrome Jake's, and one small rainbow was brave enough to grab a dead shiner.
Holdsworth missed a couple of bites on a minnow and eventually got a slot cutt to cooperate.
After several hours working the cliffs, we were getting pretty bored, plus the breeze picked up and blew ice into the areas we liked. It was time for the river.
There were plenty of other people with river water on the brain, evident by the amount of vehicles in the lot and at the gate. We figured that most of the people would be further downstream, but there were 3 people along the first stretch below the spill.
There was still plenty of space for everyone to fish and we only really wanted the spill area anyway, which was mostly available. We both threw the blue fox around and both only got one fish each: a small rainbow for me and a nice 17inch brown for Holdsworth.
It fought really hard for him, so that made his day.
My dink rainbow:
The wind really started gusting and some raindrops were falling, so we set off for our last stop of the day, Currant Creek Reservoir.
The creek itself is still running very high and flooding most low-lying areas near the stream bed. Any higher and it'll touch the road in one spot. We could've thrown spinners from the window, it was so close.
The lake was much lower than I've seen it, in preparation for the rest of the runoff, which is coming in strong and muddy from most directions. The piped-in Duschene is at a meager flow and running clear, but then it's quickly dirtied by the creek from Coal Mine Hollow, which joins it almost immediately.
Holdsworth was still able to catch a small cutthroat in the corridor going into the lake though. Several fish were rising in the dirty water, but ignored my offerings with the fly rod.
In search of clearer water to fish, we grabbed our gear and marched all the way around to "our spot" that we used to fish almost weekly, years ago. Even on the far side, halfway to the dam, we still didn't get into any clear water, but it wasn't muddy and brown anymore, just murky.
Far enough, we figured, and we finished off our slow day with some more slow fishing. Holdsworth got several fish to play with him, but never got any to hand. I got one small rainbow with the Blue Fox and then another on a nightcrawler.
My best fish for the day came on a chub minnow and actually put up a good fight. I thought it was a tiger until I saw the bright red cheek of a nice cutthroat.
It was a little over 18 inches and 2.5lbs.
We both missed several other opportunities before the winds picked up and chased us off. It was a good day to get out and we were glad we did.
Happy Fishing, Humans.
Barb Harris Photo In Spring Wisconsin Natural Resources Magazine - http://dnr.wi.gov/wnrmag/2018/spring/Readers.PDF I also got in the magazine in same area. Care of trout.
7 hours ago