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Fish, Fur, Fowl: Heat wave takes toll
Hunters and anglers alike are not particularly pleased with the sudden heat wave to hit our area. Temperatures in the upper 50s and low 60s have some serious drawbacks.
Ducks are on their way south to avoid the cold and can now stay where they are. They will only go as far south as the weather will push them. During the cold there were some fresh ducks in our area that made for some better than normal hunting.
Rain combined with melting snow has caused local rivers to become formidable to anglers. Not only is the water higher, but it is also moving faster and very muddy. Good luck in trying to locate some steelhead in these conditions.
But Im sure colder weather is in our future. This winter could be a repeat of last year when it warmed up just long enough to cause some trees to bloom and then another cold spell.
Feb. 1 will open the winter blackmouth season, and unlike steelhead, increased river flow could mean a sooner than later return of local fish. One thing I will continue to preach, however, is safety. This time of the year can be very dangerous out on the water. So play it smart and plan ahead.
Steelhead had started to see an increase in numbers until this last bit of rain. Look for the rivers to subside a bit and the action to continue.
Cranberry Lake can be productive this time of year. Look for brown trout to move out of their deeper holes. Trolling a night crawler, or a dark colored woolly bugger, can be just the thing to cause them to strike. These are some nice sized fish too.
Just like hunting season in August, the winter salmon season marks the beginning of the fishing year for most. Soon April will be here and the big trout opener, followed closely by ling cod and so on. There will be something for everyone soon and I will be on top of it.
Theres only one more weekend of hunting left for most of us. Waterfowl hunters have until Jan. 31 to get in some last minute action before putting their shotguns and decoys back in storage. For me, it has been a bit disappointing, other than the trip to the Tri-cities area where I had a blast.
Spring gobblers will be the first thing on the horizon for most hunters, unless you are lucky enough to get drawn for a spring bear tag. If not, then we must wait until late summer.
Next year I think I will go deer hunting with a bow. I might have better luck.
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