ZEKE WILSON: What are the chances?
Last week I took advantage of an in-season trout stocking late in the day and was met by some swift currents.
Fishing the upper portion of a tributary, I found the clarity was ideal with just a hint of color. Finding bottom was easy enough in perhaps three feet of water, but following the cast was not as daylight was fading.
Drifting a threaded minnow six inches off the bottom, I managed to creel three nice brook trout before the sun set. With daylight fading when I first arrived, I discounted the need to replace my leader, thinking, What are the chances? The fish my tackle had last seen was a 15-inch brook, and it was foolish to begin fishing with worn tackle. On perhaps the fifth cast a good trout took the bait, and before the drag could be loosened the fish was gone.
Taking the extra time to inspect and replace tackle is worth the wait. In my case the frayed 6-pound monofilament failed and was the difference between landing a dandy and just having another fish story.
Before my outing, I drove parallel to the stream and counted 10 vehicles along a four-mile stretch.
In the coming days flow will be ideal on the trout streams, and fishing will be good.
Dry-fly-fishing is now viable, and something in a size 18 was hatching heavily during my time on the water. Color and current are both good for fishing, although a little can go a long way, with more silted streams taking longer to settle out.
The majority of the state-stocked trout are now in the water. Wetting a line in the week to come would make sense if one fancies trout for table fare or sport.
Walleyes are now in season as well, and anglers also have panfish as an option.
Cloe Lake and Cummings Reservoir offer the opportunity for a host of species, including trout with a family friendly setting.
The chance at a free dinner might tempt some, but it would be wise to procure a current regulations booklet from the Fish and Boat Commission or online. Harvesting the wrong species of fish under minimum length could result in a fine, which would cost more than a dinner for six at Red Lobster.
Needle-nose pliers and forceps make the release process much smoother.
• Those that I spoke with indicated the turkey talk has grown nearly silent. Action is happening later in the day, if at all, undoubtedly as a result of hunting pressure. Many gobblers are now either dead or had some educational experience, but at the right moment they can still be bagged.
Hunting all day now can allow for catching a tom looking for love later on.
With turkey now nesting, waiting until the end of June if possible to brush hog or mow would help hatching success. Last year I exposed three nests while mowing between tree rows, creating easy access for predators. Already I have seen a hen in the vicinity of one nest site, and with hope things will go better this spring.
• Rabbits are doing what rabbits are known best for, and young ones are popping up seemingly everywhere.
Deer are on the move as the highways indicated in my travels, and slowing down at dusk would benefit all parties.
• At this time of year sometimes one must make the time to enjoy spring before it melts away.