So. I’m not sure exactly how warm it needs to get before we can cast again into unfrozen water, but I know it’s something more than 10 degrees.
That’s exactly what it was 10 months ago as I emerged from Walt's warm truck for ice-out fishing in North Park. Ever the over-eager one, I quickly jumped into my waders - and then mid-thigh into the frigid water of a lake not fully committed to its spring meltdown. I managed one ragged, unsuccessful cast, then another. Then I raced back to that warm truck with both hands curled into a fetal position. And then and Walt and I sat for an hour swilling coffee and watching the temperature gauge still recording 10 degrees.
Periodically I would wade back to see if my hands would start casting again (they wouldn’t), while Walt to his embarrassment never even got out of the truck. Charlie, Pat and whomever else was with us on that cold windy day never ventured from their vehicles until well past mid morning.
The point - and I do have one - is that when it eventually did warm into the ‘20s, we got into memorable trout. Even the wind wasn’t all that bad, eventually. On that very productive fishing day we were reminded once again that intolerable conditions can be tolerated when fishing prospects and spring fever warrant. Just force yourself to stay in the truck until the outside temperature is a few more degrees above zero.
So. This brings us to Early Early Spring 2019. Along the Front Range it is still possible to ice fish - unless you doubt the wisdom of anglers hopping around on Boyd Lake within casting range of open water. Or we can head into the mountains and use Dave’s new drill on that two-foot thick icecap. We can slso begin to plan what to do when our baits finally stop bouncing around on top of the lake.
Club President Jim Visger is keeping the club fishing calendar. Let’s load him up with options.
I for one see several:• As soon as early morning temps get back above the teens, we should resume after-breakfast club ventures to Carter, Flatiron or River’s Edge. And we will surely have open water restored soon at Boyd - where holdover trout having been hanging around the boat ramp, Dan is hoping for an early walleye bite run high, and the boat ramp is optimistically set to reopen March 1.
• In Loveland proper, the Recycle Pond should be first to melt, with its eight or nine aerators still keeping some water circulating. And Flatiron Reservoir west of town generally stays partly clear year-round as the water is pumped back and forth to Pinewood. Carter, though recently frozen, should remain accessible through spring, though boat access there and Horsetooth is not set to begin until April 1. (By the way, there has been no further word on boating access to Pinewood, since it was closed last summer because of increasingly stringent aquatic nuisance regulation. But as soon as things thaw we can still launch a kayak or float tube there without restriction. That boating ban should cut down on the competition)
• Beyond an easy 20-minute drive, another option is easy: the annual ice-out trip to North Park as soon as weather dictates, hopefully followed by a follow-up ice out trip to North Park the following week. Where else should we go?
To me, others outings that should be on our spring list: Sterling, John Martin, Stalker Pond. And another shot at the Promontory Ponds in Greeley, before the weeds get too thick.
At least, this is what’s keeping me awake nights. That, and hands that occasionally still gnarl up like a bunch of unripe bananas.
So let's talk it over, and make Jim start building a list. Here's the old boy's e-mail.