Friday, January 1, 2016

Snow Shoeing McDonald Pass

The last wave of ducks have pretty much headed out and the ones that are left are smarter than I am or have found spots to sit down that I can't get to so we headed up to McDonald Pass to spend a gorgeous day snow shoeing and Nordic skiing. Here's Patrick amongst the snowy pines, digging himself out of about a foot of the white stuff.
As for the fishing and the hunting, it's way too cold to fish so I haven't been since about mid-November and I haven't really seen anything as far as bugs go while we are duck hunting so the dries would be out. If you're brave enough to hit the Missouri anytime soon, "slow and low and let it troll," to coin a phrase from Nathanial Pehl--that is, if you can find that kind of water to fish.Some of the back channels and slow water that rarely ever freeze up have developed a pretty good sheet of ice. Basically, the fish are going to be in the deep stagnant stuff that's a little warmer, where they can hold without using up any energy. Pink always works for nymphs but they'll probably be pretty lethargic so you'll have to bop them on their noses and if your bobber even looks like it's slowing down or stops, set the hook.
As for the ducks, I think there will still be another wave coming with the next snow storm. It has been very cold but the ducks we have been getting don't seem to be of the northern flight. Usually, those ducks have layers of fat, thicker and tougher down, and are pretty big. The ducks we've been shooting are smaller and don't seem to be all that well equipped for the winter. In the last few days, we've seen waves of divers flying over heading south but each night, there are fewer and fewer so we might not see too many more of them. The geese are probably pretty much done up here too, with the exception of few flocks that will remain for the winter but I'm holding out for that last wave of greenheads. As soon as the weather turns again, we'll be out there.
Keep 'em where they live...

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