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The Transition

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The Transition Begins...

Well, I find myself at that time of year I dread the most. The water is too thin to walk on and too thick to throw a fly through.

It's been a great year on the ice. Stretched it from just after Thanksgiving to the present. Fish bit well and I caught some real "quality" this year. Highlights included a 22 1/2" bass on two pound line and a #12 RatFinkee. Hope we can renew our acquaintance on the fly rod.

Lots of big, bull bluegill I dropped back through the hole to maintain the fishery and because I'm too selfish to only enjoy them once.

Also took my four year old grandson ice fishing for the first time. He caught his first "ice" fish and I would bet he is "hooked" for life.

But, all good things must come to and end and the long ice season has left my fly rods in need of polishing and my fly boxes in need of much more than that. So, today I started through them. My, I wonder how I ever caught a single fish on such an array of disheveled and downright raggedy feathers and fur? Looks like the moths and mice have been at them. They haven't - it just looks that way.

I see I am short on a number of my "go to" flies - bead-eyed Woolly Buggers, SMPs, Stealth Bombers, Pig Boats and Bunny Leeches. Considering the fact that I am incompetent at worst, and slow at best, I have my work cut out for me. This year I plan to add a bit of weight to my Buggers, a bit more color to the "Boats" and just enough Zonker strip tail to the Bombers to make them "settle" in the water a bit more.

It will be a couple of weeks, maybe a month, before I can find open water and even then the chances of actually catching a fish on a fly are pretty slim. So until then, I'll tie flies, stretch lines, tie new leaders, clean out my fanny pack. When there is liquid water I should probably bite the bullet, drag out the ultra-light and some tube jigs and see if I can catch a crappie or two.

Or?.. I could try a black #8 Bunny Leech with dumbbell eyes with maybe a few wraps of boa yarn for body? I haven't really given the new 5 wt. an honest test. Hey, it couldn't hurt.

Updated 03-11-2008 at 12:21 PM by HideHunter