It looks like we will get a couple days above freezing this week. Fishing can get pretty good during these mini thaw periods we tend to get every now and again in winter. Here are just a few things to keep in mind while fishing during the winter cold months:
Minimize the amount of time a fish is out of water. This is just as important if not more so than in the summer months. Fish gills are very feather-like, and rely on being buoyant under water to hold their shape. They will collapse and potentially freeze together when taken out of water. Not good!
Do not touch fish with gloves that can remove slime. Rag wool, or other abrasive types of materials can remove the protective slime that acts as a germ and bacteria barrier over a fish’s skin. Man up, take your glove off and stick your hand underwater if you must handle the fish. There are some gloves that are fish-friendly, and will not cause any ill to the fish as long as the outside of the glove is wet (Simms, Patagonia neoprene).
Keep a keen eye and ear out for ice jams breaking up! As we go through these extreme cold to warm cycles, ice can break apart and knock into you unexpectedly. As always, use a wading belt and use caution when wading. The video below was taken on the Gallatin River in the Canyon.
Lastly, have fun! If it’s not fun, it ain’t worth it. So come on into the shop, get some warm clothing and gloves, some flies, and hit the water!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmNdCH42tFE LINK FOR GALLATIN RIVER ICE JAM