Thursday, April 2, 2015

April Ice

Scriba Creek on opening day of trout season, 2015
By Spider Rybaak

If you like ice and snow, this past winter (It’s spring, right?) fulfilled your wildest fantasies. In fact, it’s still giving us a chill.

April 1st, opening day of trout season, saw anglers struggling through knee-deep snow just to get to the water. Once they made it to the edge, their trouble was worth it.

“The mild thaw has Scriba Creek running perfectly, almost at summer levels” said one angler while putting his gear away at the side of the road. “Normally I have to bounce worms on bottom with lots of weight this time of year because the water’s too high and cold to use anything else,” he added.

“Not today. I landed two 12-inchers, and had a nice brown of about 15 inches break free. They all hit a gold ribbed hare’s ear nymph,” added the Cleveland resident who declined to give his name.

“What a thrill. I was actually fly-fishing--this time of year, no less-- a sinking line, no additional weight at all. The big one came out from under the bank, and hit right in front of me. It was like slow motion in the clear water, man. After jumping a couple of times, he spit the fly back at me like it was old gum,” he chuckled.

Oneida Lake is still solidly in winter’s grip, handing icers some dynamite late season opportunities.

What’s good for the anglers isn’t ideal for the birds. Canada geese and other migratory waterfowl are having trouble finding liquid water. Most are concentrated in the Oneida River on the east side of Brewerton.

A few others are treading shallow water at the mouths of small streams trickling down from the Tug Hill Plateau. Works of natural art, these rivulets slowly, deliberately tear into Oneida Lake’s icy crown, reaching further and further into the drink by the hour, giving cabin weary soft water anglers something reassuring to look at while waiting for ice-out.

Oneida Lake resident Susan Douglass
admiring a rivulet busting through the ice.


Wayne Barber said...

Nice story, thanks for sharing

Wayne Barber said...

Nice story, thanks for sharing, Wayne Barber