Ice-off can be a great time of year for stillwater fishing. After a long winter, a rainbow trout’s metabolism will begin to speed up as they forage for staple food sources such as bloodworms, shrimp and leeches. A great way to target fish in the first few weeks after the ice leaves the lake is with a strike indicator (bobber…) setup.
Even with this method, in frigid early season water temps I am a firm believer in holding the rod in hand while fishing instead of resting it in the rod holder. Of course, if you are pre-occupied and need both hands then set it in the holder, but having the ability to lift up on the most subtle of movement on the indicator will definitely connect you with more fish.
The reason for this is that while fish may be sporadically feeding, it does not necessarily mean that they are doing so at a rapid pace. The water is cold, they are still fairly sluggish and are not going to move at high speeds in search of food like you will see in warmer temperatures.
Especially in the ice-off period, sometimes your indicator will do no more than wiggle on the surface for a couple seconds before returning static. This is a fish very slowly approaching and “mouthing” your fly. Having your rod in hand and ready to take action at all times will definitely increase your chances of sticking a few more fish this spring during the early season window.
Ice-off is underway in the Kamloops area, book yourself a day or two on the water this spring and see how enjoyable this fishery is! To contact, fill out the form below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.