Spring 2013 A Bust
Fishing for Steelhead, for me, is a blast. Powerful, fast and acrobatic, fresh run steelhead are hard to beat for a freshwater sporting fish. My spring trip to the waters of my choice for steelhead fishing was a bust this year. I hooked up 8 times and landed 1 in three days. I walked my ass off up and down those hills and along that river in snow that turned to ice in the cold of the night, making some places very treacherous. I was pretty lucky that I only slipped once and fell on my butt on a small hill. No damage to me or the gear, just my pride. There were a few places that I would have ended up in the river had I slipped there. Falling in the river in freezing temperatures is almost a sure thing for hypothermia, if you don't drown first. With the water temperature in the 30s you can only be in it for a little while before you need to get out and warm your toes. And for the fish, cool water temperatures usually doesn't help their feeding mode, and the fact that they have other things on their minds in the spring is not a good combination. I met up with my good friend Barry for about a half day of fishing and his luck was almost as bad as mine.
I did get to take some photos that you don't get to see here in Missouri. Conditions that are common place in the Northwoods and that the locals take in stride, are new wonders for me, so if someone saw me taking photos of their "common place conditions" they would have been amused.

10 feet of snow piled up in a parking lot.                                 Dress for the season                                            Iced up guides make it hard to cast                                      

size 14 black stone fly that was hatching                                                              Looks like dirty snow, but they were millions of bugs on the forest floor    

                             A closer look of the bugs. they are called Springtails with a Magnified photo of a Springtail

        I’m not sure how this happens, but I saw several of these.                            On the last day I ran into a flooded road up to my running boards

A dead Ash tree from Emerald Ash Borer Beetles. ALL of the ash trees along this river have been and are being killed by this devastating bug. At this time there doesn’t seem to be a way of stopping them. DO NOT transport fire wood from one region to another. It is the major means of relocating this destructive insect to other regions, including your home state.
The bark falls off of the tree when it dies, revealing the holes that the Ash Borer beetle makes. ALL of the Ash trees will soon be gone in this part of the state. There doesn't seem to be a way to stop them.  It is very important to take the vehicle to a car wash prior to leaving an area, so we don't transport these or other non native critters to other parts of the country. And please do not transport firewood to other parts of the country. Only use wood in the specific area you are camping in.