And so I decided to try Cold Springs once more this spring before the water got warmer. The air temperature at 9:00 am that Thursday was about 50 degrees, but the high reached 60. Being it was mid-week I had the whole reservoir to myself. I caught four fish right away (which is not unusual when you’re the first one fishing for the day), and ended up with a total of 36 hook-ups of which I landed 26 trout. About one-third of the trout were holdovers from previous stockings, and they were beautifully colored. (Holdovers are hatchery-reared trout that survive over one or more winters before being harvested; they tend to look and behave more like wild trout.) The other two-thirds were recently stocked fish in the nine to eleven inch range. While the holdover trout where usually fourteen inches, I had several in the range of fifteen to sixteen inches with one beauty that was close to eighteen inches. It appeared to be a female that had recently spent her roe as her belly felt loose. She did not jump much, and was released unharmed like all the others.
|Feisty thirteen-inch holdover rainbow|
|Fifteen-inch male with heavy spotting, begining of kyped jaw|
|Eighteen-inch hen-fish with green wooly bugger in corner of jaw|
"Bobbing" on Cold Springs
|Let's see: tube, rod, fins, net...|
I love catching wild trout, but holdover trout are a good second choice. The Cold Springs holdover trout were beautifully marked and colored. The sixteen inchers really liked to jump, but I must admit the stocked fish were acrobatic as well. As has been the pattern for Wayne Kich trips, it was a great one-day escape; God surely blessed my late-spring visit to Wayne Kirch.
|Leaving Wayne Kirch WMA looking east toward Egan Range|
|The happy fisherman|