Just returned from a chilly wade in Chickahominy. It's a gorgeous day, glassy surface, air temp pushing 60 degrees, and the water wasn't in bad shape. In fact, a good 18" visibility, which is pretty good considering we had gusts to 50 mph just a few days ago. The chilliness was mostly due to the fact that in the first wade of the year I learned of a nearly dime sized tear in my waders. just below the knee. And I was wading waist deep. So, yes, there was water in both legs of the waders for over an hour. Chil-ee!
In the hour and a half which I spent testing my circulation, I landed one heavy fish, probably just over 20", and lost one other. I saw two fish caught by a boat trolling, and heard of a few fish caught by a couple of bank anglers. There were probably 8-10 fishing today. Word was that it fished very well over the past two days, and slowed today as the morning passed. I was also told that nearer the power lines the water became quite muddy, so possibilities exist that visibility may decrease over the next week or two. Speaking with the game warden, I was told that a number of fish were removed by ice fishers this winter. Nonetheless, there are some dandy fish to be caught in Chick. Next trip out, I'll be trying boatman and beetles...as I left my recent ties sitting on my tying desk. Sheesh....
Blitzen: I just heard that it's been fishing quite poorly. I was also told that carp have been found upstream further than where they were just a few years ago, possibly due to different management techniques. I will have to look into that. Increased numbers of river otters are also being blamed by some for some of the poor fishing.
Krumbo: Hearing it is fishing fair, and also fished better a couple of weeks ago.
After the cold medication kicked in this morning, I ventured out to check on Chickahominy to see what the situation was regarding ice. This past week while checking the trapline, we've noticed that despite some cold nights, many water holes and ponds have opened up. Well, it's true regarding the larger water bodies, as well. Chickahominy appears to be 50-60% ice free, with the only ice being around the boat ramp (3 sections are floating) and the area around and above "Point C". Clarity looked okay (honestly, I didn't leave the rig). No one was fishing, and no evidence, from what I could see, that anyone had, which makes sense as it has been a bit windy the past few days. Rather calm today, it would have been a decent day to give it a whirl, but the only thing in the back of my pickup were snowshoes, some traps, a shovel to dig out stuck vehicles (mine) and some jars of beaver castor, skunk scent and bobcat urine. Not the right equipment to see what was lurking below the surface. Needless to say, I'll be back out within the week, donning the right supplies, and bring back a report.