Cabin Fever Leads to Fishing
By Lesley Allen
The awful winter weather that we have been experiencing has been the subject of many conversations lately. For us trout anglers, the drive to Arkansas to our favorite waters has been nearly impossible due to recent snow and ice storms. This past Saturday was different, we actually had a warm front that moved in. Luckily the warm front is here for a few days and we can all get outside and hopefully do some fishing.
My husband, Chris, and I called our local guide, Mark Crawford , in hopes of enjoying the impending warm weather and floating the Spring River in a drift boat. Mark had Saturday free and was happy to indulge us. Little did we know that the hopes of warm weather were just a tease, or perhaps, a missed forecast!
We prepared our gear the night before so that we could get up at 5 a.m. and get on the road to Mammoth Springs, Arkansas. It was cold and dark when we left the house at 5:15 a.m. but seat warmers in the truck and hot coffee made the drive bearable. We arrived at Dam 3 at 8:15 a.m. and it was a sweltering 26 degrees. We were optimistic about the sun coming up and warming us up. Mark told us that there was a bit of ice in the bottom of the boat and to be careful stepping in. Luckily we had on several layers underneath our waders. We planned on having to take layers off as the day progressed.
We left Dam 3 and began fishing. Instantly we were on fish. We caught several rainbows of varying sizes as we chatted and floated on. We fished quite a few streamers like black, olive, and brown woolley buggers and the catch was almost constant. But, the air didn’t seem to be getting any warmer. In fact, by 10:00 a.m. the sun still wasn’t out and it was still below freezing! Mark handed each of us several Hot Hands hand-warmers to put in our pockets and, in my case, in my gloves!
As we neared big brown trout water, I hooked into a nice rainbow. It was my biggest fish thus far on the Spring River, and, as Mark netted it, I couldn’t help but think that this frigid trip was just meant to be. Mark took a couple of photos and we released the fish. A few minutes later, Chris hooked up on a nice brown trout. Another beautiful fish and a photo for the old scrap book. Yes, life was good, but hey, where was the sunshine and the 45-48 degree weather that the weatherman had forecast??? There was still a great deal of snow and ice along the riverbanks.
We ended our float at the Bayou Access. The boat launch there had several inches of snow and ice on it. There is a long hill to climb to leave this area and it was a good thing that Mark had 4-wheel drive on his truck. We had the heat blasting in his truck so we could thaw out a bit. Yes, it was an amazing day of fishing but if we hadn’t layered our clothing it would have been impossible to fish. Just remember, even if the forecast calls for warm weather, it doesn’t always happen. If you are floating down a river you can’t just run back to the truck for another jacket or more gloves. Take an extra layer with you or try some Hot Hands! They really work! Tight lines!!!
*Reminder that the Bass Pro Shops Fishing Classic is going on now through March 16th. We have some deals that you won't want to miss out on!
The Hot Hands: start at $9.99 & up
The Wooley Bugger Lures: start at $32.99 and up