Well, the first outing of the season is in the books. Despite remnant ice from a milder than usual winter, it was time to go fishing. We had being eying this particular spot for a week or so and were pretty certain the ice would be gone by week’s end. Friday came and it was time – beautiful sunny day, air temperature around 13C so we agreed to meet at lunch time. I arrived first and was a bit surprised to see as much ice as there was.
But when Bob and George arrived, we agreed this shouldn’t stop us. They owners of the house with the great shoreline location were kind enough to allow us to skirt the ice along the edge of their property. Bob lead the way with his Sportspal canoe aka icebreaker.
Before George and i were completely rigged, Bob was already fishing the ice edge.
Some might say we were pushing the season a bit but other than the fact that we were on the water 9 days earlier than last year, the motivation at least for me came from the fact that I hadn’t cast a fly rod since December – far too long. Some might also wonder what it felt like to be kicking around in a float tube in water that could have been ice a short time earlier. I’ll have to say, it wasn’t that bad. I started with a layer of polyester long johns, followed by bulky fleece lined pants and then my breathable waders. On my feet I had a single pair of socks (it was going to be two but I forgot the second pair in the truck). I was on the water for almost three hours and it was only towards the end that one foot started to get a bit cold. I suspect the fact that there was a warm sun and little wind, help replenish body heat. But there is no question the water was cold. So we made sure the life jackets were done up and tried to stay reasonable close to each other.
As for the fishing details. This is a spot along the Mississippi River (Canadian version) where there is a bit of tail out below a small dam. The area provides good fishing for a variety of warm water species including perch, crappies, smallmouth bass and northern pike. Further down river one can also find walleye but they are beyond the range of a float tube. Its a great spot to launch the float tube in the spring and summer for some end of the day fishing.
On this particular day, the fishing wasn’t stellar. We were able to locate some perch but they weren’t as active as they have been on other occasions. Nevertheless, we managed a few brightly coloured fish to top off a great day.