Before I can even muster a post on current affairs, it appears as if we’re on cruise control to greener pastures. I’m not going to lie, I stood streamside a few days back and contemplated whether or not I should wet wade this particular stretch of brook trout water. I was simply feeling a little hot under the collar and was looking for relief from the warm afternoon sun. Perhaps wet wading is a bit too aggressive for the task at hand, but is it too much to ask for an old-fashioned Minnesota winter? Not that I’m looking to struggle through the doldrums of an arctic chill, but this mild 2016 has put a serious hamper on my other wintertime activities (namely ice fishing, pond hockey, with a light side of skiing and snowboarding for good measure). But where global warming has proven to shine is in the winter trout angling department. Gone are the days of trifling through deep snow drifts, wicked ice shelves and the incessant picking of ice from your guides. You can simply wait for the next unseasonably warm day to work your magic. And thankfully the snowfall has come in small doses. Maybe it’s time to put those snowshoes on craigslist? Sorry great, great grandchildren your loss of polar ice is ultimately my gain. Let’s just let the extreme weather games play out because as of late the fish have responded in kind. I’ve been fortunate to rack up numbers of good looking Brookies in spades. It’s been an episode of “Attack of the Clones” with the cookie-cutter dark male char as the order of the day. I haven’t even pulled out my camera all that much, because it feels like I’m catching the same fish repeatedly. But I suppose that’s a good problem to have. I mean what else are you going to look at in-between this long-winded dribble?
Before you play the hubris card, lets just remind ourselves that winter angling can amount to a “squeezing blood from a turnip proposition” where you struggle to simply find a bite or two. I take my lumps just as often as the next guy, but certainly that has not been indicative of the last few months. There’s been no need to sit and stare longingly at your vise and repeating your what if’s. Trout have been cooperative wherever fish swim, and it’s not just an onslaught of midge dangling (unless the mood should strike you). Things are heating up right now on your favorite beat. The cabin fever that peaks out like rays of sunshine through your light buzz will pass like a small caliber kidney stone. Nothing but a minor inconvenience when looking through the long lens. For better or worse, I’ve been cutting through this bad boy like hot knife through butter.