This is no doubt in response to last winter’s massive snow based delays in getting the fish out.
Fishing fanatics will no doubt do likewise.
That is, go fishing while the weather allows and try to stay warm while doing so!
Speaking of snows, the New Year is starting off with a bit of a sequel to the last one.
In fact, many Mountain State locales broke various records for the white and fluffy stuff for February, December and the entire year of 2010.
Canaan Valley, for example, did it on all three counts posting its record annual total of 270 inches!
It’s no wonder that the fish trucks planted some 39 water bodies in just a recent one week period while the roads were open.
Though January is just the beginning of the regular (Jan.-May) stocking period, it features a relatively small number of planted waterways.
The stocking cranks up a notch in February and reaches full steam during the March through May time slot.
On the local scene, Chief Logan and Laurel Lakes have just been “January” stocked.
For the complete rundown, check out the DNR web-page at www.wvdnr.gov.
For daily updates you can also phone the Trout Hotline at 304-558-3399. Be sure to have the current (2011) fishing license and trout stamps before you go.
Likewise, the 2011 regulations pamphlets are available at the license outlets.
They hold a wealth of information on trout stocking as do the new web-page based trout stocking maps.
Also, be cautious of ice and ice fishing as southern West Virginia is a bit too warmish for consistent ice-fishing action.
Regrettably, there has already been a fatal “fall through” ice fishing accident in West Virginia .
Though trout are considered cold water species, they are not immune from the effects of icy cold water.
Their body temperatures are controlled by that of the water.
As their ability to move is slowed down by cold, so must the fly fishing techniques.
Stationary baits and slower retrieves should thus be employed.
Smaller baits or bait pieces are generally better as well for the less aggressive cold weather fish.
The various salmon egg, power-bait, trout jig, meal and earthworms are winter bait favorites.
Also for 2011, a new kid on the block catch and release stream has been added.
It’s a one-mile reach of lower Shavers Fork in Randolph County at the Stuart Recreation Area just outside the county seat of Elkins.
A new Children and Class Q area has also been added on Mash Fork within the Camp Creek State Forest in Mercer County .
In closing, some 1.1 million trout of the rainbow, brook and brown varieties averaging nigh a pound apiece are itching for a fight. If that don’t get you out of that cabin fever, nothing will.