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Old 03-09-2019, 05:59 AM   #21
Pauly D.
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Originally Posted by RipVanWinkle View Post
Ice-out fishing seems to be something guys either do really well with and I know others who think its not all that it's cracked up to be.

Anyone have any suggestions as to characteristics that may make one pond a better ice-out pond than another?

How about ice-out techniques?
Just got my canoe last season so I'm fairly new to the backcountry pond scene.
I figure I'll just be stripping and trolling woolly buggers to find the fish like I normally do.
Rip that's a great question. From my limited experience it's been hit or miss too. Based on what I've learned the ponds will turnover in the Spring pretty soon after ice-out. Once this happens the fish go off the bite for a week or two until the water chemistry and oxygen levels stabilize. You have to hit it just right before turnover to land active fish.

I did pretty good last year using a balanced leech on clear floating line with a long leader (15 to 20 feet). I let the wind drift me slowly and didn't impart any action on the fly. It was wait, wait, wait and then... BAM. I landed some nice fish in the cold water.

I recall one year when I fished a new pond and ran into the Ranger on patrol. It was a beautiful day and the sun was nice and warm. I figured the fish would be active in the shallows from the suns rays. I didn't get a single bite the entire day and asked the Ranger if there were any fish in the pond. He replied yes and told me guys were landing big brook trout about a week prior. That's when I started learning about the Spring turnover and figured I'd missed my window of opportunity.
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Old 03-09-2019, 08:38 AM   #22
vtflyfish
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In the first couple of days after ice out, the entire pond is 32 degrees. Even a little bit of wind can agitate and oxygenate the pond. You will often find fish at or near the surface for this brief period. Oxygen levels fell through the winter and now they are desperate for it. Fish can be caught quite near the surface

As warming progresses and because water is most dense at 39.2 degrees, warming, oxygenated water falls to the bottom of the pond until the entire pond is at the same density. During this transition period, you will find fish where the water is warmest - near the bottom.

Once the entire pond is 39.2 degrees, all hell breaks loose. Turnover is easy to induce and it stirs up everything. The brookies don't like it and can go off their feed for ~10 days. If your favorite pond has a greenish tinge to it, go elsewhere.

When temperatures get into the 50's, you will have active, happy, feeding fish. This is when I typically do best, generally sometime in mid to late May. Synchronicity: When the lilacs start to bloom at my house and the first black flies appear, the fishing can be sublime!
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Old 03-10-2019, 11:12 AM   #23
RipVanWinkle
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Thanks for the replies, gents, very informative.
We’re getting real close to game time, good luck out there.
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Old 03-10-2019, 11:35 AM   #24
aft paddle
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Once the entire pond is 39.2 degrees, all hell breaks loose. Turnover is easy to induce and it stirs up everything. The brookies don't like it and can go off their feed for ~10 days. If your favorite pond has a greenish tinge to it, go elsewhere.
Why is it some people can't go on a fishing trip and just say they couldn't catch anything?
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Old 03-10-2019, 01:06 PM   #25
vtflyfish
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Why is it some people can't go on a fishing trip and just say they couldn't catch anything?
What fun would that be???
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