12/10/11
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives
2.    Midges
3.    Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)

Fishing Cold Water - Part One
The very earliest memory I have of fishing cold water took place when I was about ten or
twelve years old. I'm guessing at my age but that's probably close. I can recall part of the
fishing trip very well. I can remember the steps I made walking back home from a pond about
three-quarters of a mile from my home in North Alabama. I had a new pair of boots Santa had
brought me and I was excited to get to wear them. It had snowed just enough to turn the
ground white and that had frozen over from a light rain. The ground was very slippery and
each step I took made a noise. I have visions of the boots crunching the ice covered snow.

No, I didn't fall in the pond, although I could easily have done that. If I had, I probably wouldn't
be writing this. That's just some of the crazy things boys will do without a worry in the world. i
just wrote that and now I'm having second thoughts. I doubt if they would do the same crazy
thing this day in time. Maybe I should write that's what boys would do where I came from and
when I was growing up. Time has changed things a lot.

Ice was all around the farm pond. I can remember my line freezing in the guides. I can
remember the lure coming in to the bank and then up on a layer of ice that was around the
perimeter of the pond. I didn't know if bass would hit a lure in the cold water or not.; I doubt if
the thought ever even crossed my mind. I just went fishing. I can't remember the lure I used
but whatever it was, it worked. I caught a bass that weighted maybe a pound or so, and I was
very excited about it. i doubt I even knew that was probably not so easy to do in water that
cold. I do know that I must have been hard pressed to show off my catch, and of course, I just
had to carry it home, clean it and eat it. Doing anything else was unheard of.

The most vivid thought I have about the trip was walking home. It was very cold and the wind
was blowing hard. I didn't have a stringer to put the bass on, so I held it by it's lower lip. The
problem with that was both the bass and my fingers froze on the way home. I can remember
that I kelp swapping hands, the casting rod and reel in one hand and the fish in the other. I
have memories of the bass when I got home to proudly show it to mother and dad.
It was
frozen solid
. They had no idea I had gone fishing or they probably wouldn't have let me go.
They thought I just wanted to wear my new boots.

I can remember the pain in my fingers. I had on a pair of gloves but when the fingers of the
gloves got wet from holding the fish, they were of little use in keeping my fingers warm. I must
of had frost bitten fingers because I can remember them hurting for a day or two. Mother was
very upset at me and worried about my fingers.

I don't remember if I got to clean the fish and eat it or what happened to it. I can clearly
remember the bass was frozen solid as a rock when I got home. I can remember my fingers
hurting. I can remember very clearly, the bass coming up to the bank and flopping across the
ice around the lake before I could grab it.

I can tell you that largemouth bass prefer warmer water than trout.
Copyright 2011 James Marsh