Fish rap: Same ol’, weather is cold, but you can still fish

FISH RAP BY ROGER PHILLIPS

rphillips@idahostatesman.comJanuary 1, 2014 

Here’s a shout out to my fishing buddy who confirmed my old saying that if you wait until the weather is perfect, you never go. He and another guy braved the cold weather and hit the Salmon River near Riggins. They dodged ice flows, and they both hooked steelhead and landed one.

Considering I’ve been skunked there more than once when it was sunny and 70 degrees, it shows that cold weather doesn’t stop people from catching fish.

My activities have been more oriented toward duck hunting and bowl games, but that’s going to change soon.

I am really looking forward to getting on the ice, and Lake Cascade is looking like the hot spot this winter (just don’t take that literally). The ice is in great shape and anglers are getting out there in droves. They’re catching perch, and some big trout. If you haven’t tried ice fishing, you should. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s low cost. You can buy an ice fishing rod/reel combo for about $15, and Tackle Tom’s in Cascade will rent you a hand auger for $7 a day. Get a slush spoon and a five-gallon bucket to sit on and you’re ready.

Then look where people are congregating on the ice. Don’t crowd your fellow anglers, but don’t be shy about joining them. It’s a pretty social activity, and there’s lots of room for every one.

I’ve always been impressed by how cordial ice anglers are, and they’re typically willing to help out a newby, especially if there’s a kid along.

For your first trip, keep your expectations modest and hope to be surprised. Chances are good you will be.

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