With the year ending and winter officially under way, the first day was Dec. 21, 2019.It seems like winter has been already here, people are already ice fishing for close to a month now and hear in South Central Ontario, the tributaries have been frozen over more than twice. Now the forecast looks promising for the tributaries it’s going to be warmer than it has all of November or so it feels, however for those that want ice in this area it may be tough to find good ice, the tribs will definitely open up again. Some steelheading is in order for sure and is definitely a challenge this time of year, ice shelfs, unstable banks and ice jams to name a few. The fishing for steelhead this year has been better than most, but lately it has been meh to ok. There hasn’t been a good run of fall fish in around 3 or 4 years or so. (you hear rumours of what and how what has happened to the fishing not being good lately, everyone has their own opinion). Sure, there are good days here and there or you hear stories of guys getting double digit days, however they are just stories. There are places you can travel far and wide to chase chrome but for those of us that love the small tributaries of the North Shore of Lake Ontario this is home and can fish multiple tribs the same day to make the most of the runs. The seasons are a changing for sure and soon most of the areas to fish will be closed for 4 months which make a long wait over the winter that is in limbo. It’s not winter or fall, there is ice, sketchy ice but ice none the less. The experts are calling for an extreme winter this year, the question is, when is it going to start and how long will it last.
Now is the season for tying flies, catching up with friends, going to clubs and just take some time relax and reflect on the year that was and what is going to be. Next year is around the corner, time to start planning a trip, , try to learn a new technique, (euro nymphing or swinging), plan on targeting another species (some species help you be a better fly fisherperson) adding another tool to your tool kit. Speaking of tools, it’s also a time when all new latest and greatest gear come to market so, if you’re thinking of adding new rod, reel or other gadgets (if you are like me and are kind of a gear junkie) now is the time to tour shops and find exactly what you are looking for. It will help you through the long winter ahead or at least in between the freeze and refreeze of the tributaries that is for the winter that is fall like.
On a side note with the holidays around the corner, I leave this Merry Christmas to you and your families and Happy New Year. Stay safe on the water/ice & walk with caution in the creeks, rivers, tributaries or where-ever you fish. Next year is going to be an exciting time it’s 2020, kind of seems weird typing that for sure. Plan trips, catch big fish or just a fish, size doesn’t matter, it’s the experience, take someone new fishing, take a kid fishing and most of all have fun and enjoy the outdoors after all times and seasons are changing and we have no idea what is next, we just need to adapt and enjoy whatever mother nature throws at us.