Sunday, February 4, 2007

Anchor Ice

2/4/07 This photograph is showing anchor ice. We do not think of winter as a stress time for trout. Winter conditions can be as tough on a trout stream as any hot dry summer day can be. Cold snaps like the one we are experiencing now, can cause a lot of anchor ice to form in the streams that are not partially spring fed. These springs not only keep the water temperatures cool in the summer, but help to warm the water during the winter providing protection from anchor ice. Streams without the protection from springs, can form enough anchor ice to be deadly to the trout. In shallow water, the ice can literally freeze the trout up and out of the stream, where the fish can become frozen into the ice and die. The next problem with anchor ice is that most of the time anchored ice forms in the shallow fast flowing sections of the streams. Unfortunately these are the same spots that trout use to spawn. The eggs from fall spawning, trout like, Brown trout and Brook trout do not Hatch until spring. Anchor ice can kill a lot of the eggs over the winter. Many streams and rivers in the Adirondack Mountains are prone to this anchor ice. Anchor ice is one of many reasons why so many of the mountain streams may look really good but, do not hold wild trout.

Fishing conditions
The extreme cold weather is doing a good job of icing down our fishing. As you would expect all of the smaller streams are totally locked up with ice. The fishing on the larger rivers has been slowed down. The Genesee River is still flowing high and with the cold snap the ice along the river makes walking the shoreline very dangerous and we have not talked about trying to fish through the slush ice in the river. Hopefully we can get at this river soon When we do the fishing should be very good.

The Oak Orchard River water flow is at a low to moderate level and the water color is mostly clear. You will find a few Steelhead at the Dam, and a few spread out down river in the slower water. The problem, with this part of the river is it will most likely be frozen over.

The Salmon River, Pulaski N.Y. is fishing slow just like the rest of the Lake Ontario tributaries. The Pulaski area has been getting heavy Lake effect snow, and of course, the cold temperatures. The slush ice has not been clearing out of the lower river the last few days. This means the fishing is from the lower fly fishing only section on down river, depending on ice conditions. Concentrate your fishing efforts on the deeper pools such as the schoolhouse pool, trestle pool and when the slush ice permits the sportsman's pool. The flies for now are small egg flies and natural looking nymphs and colors of black, Brown, and olive. All of these flies must be fished on the bottom.

As soon as the air temperature warms enough so that we can try and fish a little, we may want to consider giving Oatka and Springbrook a serious try. Both of the streams will remain clear of ice despite how cold it may get. Fly selection here is very simple, pink scuds size 16, small pheasant tail's size 20 and mage pupas.

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