Finding a rainbow on the Lower is a bit of a rarity for me, especially below the Olmstead Diversion, where the special regulations end and general regs are in effect downstream from there.
It came from the deeper part of this run, about 5 feet in front of the fallen branch below.
With this world famous river flowing through my stomping grounds for the last 27 years, I've spent my fair share of time near its banks, although I find myself neglecting it these days. It's nice to pay it a visit from time to time when traveling to distant venues isn't on the agenda.
A couple of the typical dink browns came to hand, but there was one really nice brown in the 4-5lb class that I could see right below my feet. Unfortunately, I couldn't get its attention with anything I threw at it.
Here's the best of the smaller browns that I was able to catch.
Even though I was feeling awful and I had some conference championship games to watch, I stayed for awhile longer trying for that big brown, but had to call it quits. Missing both games just wouldn't fly for this football fan.
With the warmer weather over the past week, I had word that Starvation Reservoir had a lot of open water and unsafe ice, then a last minute report stated that areas near the state park boat ramp had refrozen, with 4 inches of clear ice. This I had to see.
When I pulled up to the ramp, I noted the presence of open water quite close to where I had hoped to fish. A quick ice check gave me confidence to push on.
There was a lot of older ice stacked up on the ramp, but about 100 feet out, newer ice had recently covered over a gap. I was able to drill through that quickly and measured down to the bottom, which was around 25 feet.
Immediately upon lifting my jig from the bottom, I felt a tiny bump. I missed the bite, and the following several, but I knew that there were perch down there taking swipes. Recent reports had stated that the perch were hanging around the 25 foot depth.
After quite a few bait checks and retries, I finally got one to hang on to my jig for a ride to the top. It was no wonder that I wasn't getting connections before, since this perch may have stretched out to a whopping 6 inches. Back it went and I continued to try at different depths.
It was a long time before I felt any other bumps and those only came from the bottom. Another tiny perch came and went before something actually put a bend in my rod. It was a nice thick female rainbow of 17 inches and 2 lbs, just like the ones 2 weeks before.
It was great to break up the monotony and pretty soon, more of her buddies (although much smaller) showed up for a quick visit before going back to grow larger.
After some more depth experimentation, I hooked into the fish of the day, a large male with a mighty girth.
The day wore on with just enough action to keep me trying and I noticed that nobody else was having much luck at all. There were quite a few parties fishing similar depths to each other and I only heard of two fish being caught between all of them. They looked as if they were fishing too shallow in my opinion.
Right before I decided to leave, it happened. I finally got my first brown through the ice. Long time coming on that one. Pretty good size too!
Here's what the park looked like before I left. Yes, that's open water and it's got fishable ice right by it.
Happy Fishing, Humans.