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gt05254 09-02-2011 07:07 AM

Frozen rivers
For the benefit of those that assume that trout (and salmon) rivers don't freeze, or that you can just walk to the "riffles" that allegedly don't freeze, I can't resist (I know, I know, I should, but I can't) offer this photo of the Miramichi, one of the great trout and salmon rivers of the world, in winter. Locked in ice, not a riffle to be seen. Photo by Renate Bullock.

gatortransplant 09-02-2011 09:21 AM

Re: Frozen rivers
Nice photo, Gary. Cold as ice :D

diamond rush 09-02-2011 09:45 AM

Re: Frozen rivers
As a counter-point, I offer the Stony Brook in Lake Shore, MN.
Photo from Steve Kohls, the Brainerd Dispatch

Average overnight temperature in January: -7 F. But it stays open all year round. That particular stream isn't part of Minnesota's winter trout season, so you can't fish it in January, unfortunately.

Maybe the key to finding open water in January this far north is to find spring creeks?

I also suggest this thread would be more appropriate in the Coldwater Fly Fishing subforum. :)

gt05254 09-02-2011 10:02 AM

Re: Frozen rivers
Forget it. Wait. No. You said that a frozen river can't be a trout stream. And then said something about completely frozen. I'm merely attempting to show you that, in fact, rivers freeze OVER completely and still hold trout and salmon. Do all the counterpoint you want. Frozen rivers hold trout. Done. Outa here. Sheesh.

Vans 09-02-2011 10:18 AM

Re: Frozen rivers
Looks like winter steelhead conditions on the Oregon coast.

diamond rush 09-02-2011 10:46 AM

Re: Frozen rivers

Originally Posted by gt05254 (Post 310856)
Forget it. Wait. No. You said that a frozen river can't be a trout stream. And then said something about completely frozen. I'm merely attempting to show you that, in fact, rivers freeze OVER completely and still hold trout and salmon. Do all the counterpoint you want. Frozen rivers hold trout. Done. Outa here. Sheesh.

Actually, I said "Trout streams don't freeze". And that was in response to someone saying they'd need ice fishing gear to fish for trout in the winter. What I meant was that there are parts on every trout stream that remain open in the winter. How that devolved into a personal argument, I have no idea. There are plenty of places to get involved in personal arguments on the internet, and I am glad to say that this is not one of them.

Now, I may not be familiar with the Miramichi, but if you went further upstream to the skinny water, would you find open, fishable water full of trout?

brobar 09-02-2011 01:00 PM

Re: Frozen rivers
I simply said that I have never been ice fishing (in reference to there being an off-season for trout fishing). I'm sure for some of the hardcore guys... there is NEVER an offseason. I didn't mean it as trout rivers and streams *never* freeze. I just know of a lot that do. I'm not a winter hiking through backcountry snow kind of guy to find that part of the stream that may not be frozen so for *me* there would definitely be an off-season unless I decided to take up ice fishing.

No need to make it any more than what it is. I didn't mean to start an internet feud. Obviously depending on different parts of the country, weather conditions, size of water, flow of water, etc... some streams will be frozen over and others not. I was just stating (for me) I'm not gonna go back-country hiking in the snow to find a fish-able spot that isn't frozen. I'm not that hardcore. I'll just wait 'till Spring.

Cheers folks. Don't let the seriousness of the interwebz get your blood pressure high.

Beautiful pic OP!

Ard 09-02-2011 01:55 PM

Re: Frozen rivers
Perhaps we can agree on a point here, I hope. A stream or river that is born primarily of run off in its watershed and considering 'that' stream or river is in a zone where temperatures are conducive to freezing, the entire waterway may freeze over. Conversely, a stream or river that acquires a good percentage of its flow from underground sources may exhibit many areas that do not freeze over due to the general higher water temp.

One of the differences but not the only difference between a 'freestone' flow and a spring creek are as described in the preceding paragraph. Slate Run, located in North Central PA. can freeze over completely from the upper branches all the way down to the town of Slate Run. The fish seem to winter over in the deepest pools and the population always was stable. The occurrence of 'anchor ice' in the shallow or riffles, did have a noticeable effect on the hatches in years following an anchor ice event. A real bad and prolonged freeze of all the shallow areas could and often did result in the loss of many nesting beds used by the brown & brook trout the preceding fall. having fished the run often for over 20 years I noticed the relationship between harsh freezes and the overall fish population. There were obvious holes or voids in whole generations of young in some areas. This was noted by the lack of sightings of 'young of the year' taking refuge in the shallows and pools along the shore of the run. I could not think of any other explanation for this void of fry other than the anchor ice of the preceding winter.

In closing, my opinion is that many a good river and creek freeze over but sustain a population of trout or salmon. Speaking on the spring creeks I've visited over the years, they were the life blood of my winter fishing and on many shelf ice was as bad as it got regardless of the severity of the winter. There are of course exceptions to any example given but what I have taken time to recount is a good account of my observations on freezing waters.


Guest1 09-04-2011 02:13 AM

Re: Frozen rivers
Or it could do like my river. It freezes here by town so hard you can drive an 18 wheeler on it without fear of falling in. Go up the river farther towards Rainy Lake and it is open almost always in the winter. I does not matter if it gets 40 below for a week there will be part up at the head that is open. The colder it gets the less that is open, but some of it will be. So in otherwords, I disagree. Not sure who with or what, unless you agree, then I disagree with that, or maybe not. Wait I disagree with what I just said, no wait....what did you say? :p

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