Last winter was the first Ohio version in 23 years that reminded me of the six frigid winters I spent in Duluth. And according to the National Weather Service this one is even colder. I last fished on Christmas Eve. There was a narrow window of opportunity one weekend in January, but otherwise sub-freezing (and often sub-zero) temperatures have kept the Steelhead Alley locked up in ice for two-plus months.
The 10-day forecast only predicts one 24-hour stretch with the temperatures above freezing. Most of the snow will likely be gone by the end of next week, but the rivers will likely won't be free of ice until after St. Patrick's Day. Last year, I was fishing by March 9. The sequel is always worse, except for the Godfather II.
Scientists are now warning that these frigid winters are going to be the norm. If that is the case, I will making more trips like the one I have planned for next week. I'm headed to balmy Montana (forecasts call for temps in the mid 50s) to see the 1st Lt. and his bride. I will make my inaugural visit to the gang at the Headhunters Fly Shop in Craig, and if the weather cooperates I'll try to catch a midge and/or BWO hatch on the mighty Missouri. March in Montana. Something to look forward to in the winter of our discontent.