Spring has sprung, and has trout anglers and turkey hunters thankful

It was surprising just how many lakes still had ice in the first week of May, despite the warm-up. 

If you are one of those anglers who has been waiting for ice out to finally come at your favorite trout pond, you may finally be in luck.

What has been one of the longest winters that many of us can remember, especially in some of the higher elevations such as the Adirondacks, may finally be over. In fact, some are scratching their heads and wondering if we’re going to have a spring at all and just basically go from winter to summer with no chance to enjoy the change of the seasons.

But that change has been happening, especially in the final days of April and early part of May when temperatures skyrocketed. This not only eliminated the ice on many lakes and ponds, but resulted in snowmelt and runoff in most rivers and streams. The period that follows these changes can be extremely productive for a trout fisherman, whether trolling in a lightweight canoe or driftboat or working the shores of one’s favorite stream.

I spend some time on a number of hunting and fishing forums, as well a bit of social media, where sportsmen, to a degree, share information. Ice-out has been a big topic this year, especially in the Adirondacks, where even on the first of May I was seeing photos of ponds that were still iced over, but looking like they were on their way out. Anglers from all over New York were sharing their input on the places they live and those they visit, much to the benefit of their fellow anglers. Many also showcase webcams they know of, which give you definitive views of the ice/water.

Another fantastic and useful on-line resource is NASA’s World-view imagery, which allows almost real-time satellite observations of anywhere in the world, as well as archive imagery. Just pick a time when the sky was clear and it was daylight and you can easily see which lakes still have ice on them. It was surprising just how many that was in the first week of May, despite the warm-up.

This year is nearly the opposite of two years ago, when I enjoyed a backcountry brook trout fishing trip with a few friends in mid-April. We met at a deer camp some of us frequent and wheeled three boats back in a little over a mile to a trout pond in the eastern Adirondacks. The holdover brookies were biting, which made the trip well worth the effort, as did a perfect spring day.

That hasn’t been the case this year. It’s been wet, cold, rainy and even snowy. I’ve seen photos of turkey hunters with snow on the ground and have been listening to trout anglers fret about missing key time on the water. Some have gone anyway while others are waiting for the water to warm up a bit. All, especially those like me that put turkey hunting first, feel left out.

But that’s the way it goes, and as May kicks in, some of the better trout fishing of the year should be just ahead. Not to mention the busy schedule of the stocking trucks and helicopters that are also out doing their thing.

Perhaps spring has finally sprung?

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