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Passing Time

I fish twelve months out of every year; open-water or on ice I will be fishing.  However, when we get this late into the fall/early winter I am kind of passing time waiting for ice.  Once the calendar turns to December, ice cannot come soon enough.

I am still fishing open water while I am waiting, but the water is darned cold now.  That makes things challenging.  Fortunately, trout are cold-water fish, and fortunately, we have some great trout fishing opportunities in Nebraska.  Most years, this time of year, my son and I are able to fish one of our cold-water fisheries and dry off some trout.  As a matter of fact, all of our biggest rainbows have been caught at this time of year.  This was last year’s champion:


This year we have not dried off anything quite that big, but on a recent beautiful afternoon we caught several.  About half of them were rainbows:


But we mixed in some brownies too:


We released them all.

Actually, in the spring-fed water in which we fished, the water temp. was still in the upper 40’s F.  The fish were very active.  We even saw a couple of fish rise.  What they took I can only guess, midges I bet.

On small streams, I have never found that trout are very hard to catch AS LONG AS THEY ARE NOT SPOOKED.  Yes, wear camouflage, or at least natural colors!  Sneak.  Fish a small stream like you are still-hunting whitetail deer.


Fishing upstream is best, but you can get away fishing downstream if you are careful about where you wade.  Dislodged sand or sediment that washes into water you want to fish will put ’em down.

Oh, and watch your shadow!

Take your time.  Stop, look, listen.  The more you observe, the better angler you will be, and the more you will enjoy it!


About daryl bauer

Daryl is a lifelong resident of Nebraska (except for a couple of years spent going to graduate school in South Dakota). He has been employed as a fisheries biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for 25 years, and his current tour of duty is as the fisheries outreach program manager. Daryl loves to share his educational knowledge and is an avid multi-species angler. He holds more than 120 Nebraska Master Angler Awards for 14 different species and holds more than 30 In-Fisherman Master Angler Awards for eight different species. He loves to talk fishing and answer questions about fishing in Nebraska, be sure to check out his blog at outdoornebraska.org.

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