Of all the different freshwater game fish available to anglers, one of the favorite target species for fly anglers would have to be the steelhead trout. The steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) is a very important member of the migratory species found from the East to West Coast and the Great Lakes. Steelhead are a special class of fish that are not only found in freshwater, but also have ocean relatives that are known to run thousands of miles before coming back to there respective spawning grounds. Steelheads found in the rivers and lakes greatly resemble rainbow trout. Steelhead trout resemble…
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Though some northern lakes are still frozen from the frigid winter, anglers can still make the most of the situation. Across the country, it was a long, colder-than-average winter. With the polar vortex, many parts of the country saw low temperatures they had never seen before—bodies of water that people didn’t know could freeze did. USA Today reported that the ice on Lake Superior may last all the way until July. Here are a few things to expect from the still-frozen lakes. Winterkill – When Fish Suffocate When the water doesn’t thaw like usual, the ice can actually block oxygen…
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Hypothermia – which often sets in when the body must endure wet, windy conditions in cold weather –  occurs when one’s core body temperature is at 96 degrees F or below. The effects of hypothermia range from moderate to serious, including slowed bodily functions and death. For people regularly engaged in outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing or hiking during cold weather, awareness of hypothermia prevention, symptoms and treatment is of the highest importance. For an overview of these points, read on: Prevention Keep your body properly fueled. Drink ample water and consume nutrient- and energy-dense foods such as beef…
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Jerkbait Time for Ozark Smallmouth

Thursday, February 27 2014 3:00 pm - for Bass Fishing
The rigors of winter took their toll in the Missouri Ozarks. Frozen lakes and streams kept fishermen at bay for weeks. There are not a lot of ice fishermen in the Ozarks. Change is in the wind, however. Warming winds have stirred the waters. The tides are turning in the fisherman's favor. Anglers can now hit the Ozarks streams with confidence that smallmouth bass will bite. Corey Cottrell, of Huzzah Valley Resort, near Steelville, Missouri, is a highly respected smallmouth fisherman. Cottrell grew up along the banks of the Huzzah Creek and the Meramec River valley. He spends many days…
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Want to beat the winter doldrums? Head out to your deer hunting property and take a look around. Winter is the best time to learn what your deer were feeding on and doing during the late season when you were hunting them. It is also a great time to assess the quality of natural habitat and natural food sources. The best time to identify "browse" of a whitetail is to get out on a winter's day and look for evidence, such as a remaining plants or shrubs. It's been said that deer are slaves to their stomachs. That's why you…
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Hiking in the winter can be an experience without compare. The air is crisp, the atmosphere is serene and the vistas are stunning. There’s little else in the world more peaceful or beautiful than a winter hiking experience. But just as there are risks that come along with hiking in the summer (dehydration, injuries, etc.), there are also risks that must be taken into account and prepared for when hiking in the winter. While one can get lost hiking any time of the year, such an occurrence in the winter can be especially dangerous due to such risks as hypothermia…
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Hypothermia is a condition in which a person’s core body temperature reaches a health-threatening low. It occurs when the body’s core temp is at 96 degrees F or lower. Hypothermia is a serious health concern, with effects ranging from sluggish body functions to, in severe cases, death. The condition most often sets in when the body is exposed to moisture and wind. Thus, for those boating in cool, breezy weather or similar activities, hypothermia is of particular concern.  Symptoms include convulsive shivering and clumsiness, which may progress to a loss of ability to shiver and/or confusion and abnormal behavior, which…
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Western Treestand Tactics

Thursday, February 20 2014 5:00 pm - for Hunting
During a recent conversation with a friend, the subject of western big game came up. I was told by my whitetail-obsessed buddy that he had no desire to hunt any further west than Iowa. I was in a bit of shock. Even after a short debate, it was a one-sided conversation. I almost felt sorry for him, realizing that there are a small percentage of hunters who know what the western states have to offer. The Montana Rocky front is more than a hundred million years old, and, throughout time, the wind and weather have shaped it into a matrix…
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From Top to Bottom Fishing for Winter Pike

Thursday, February 20 2014 12:00 pm - for Ice Fishing
Through the many years of pursuing northern pike through the ice, one aspect that stands out from the rest about their ice-time habits – and one that most folks overlook – is that these toothy critters almost always can be found using the entire water column. And this is not just a seasonal approach, either; this pattern had held true from the very first days I can creep out onto the ice to the latest-of-late ice. Of course, like any technique we talk about, there are different ingredients to achieving the goal of putting fish on top of the ice.…
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Tying and Fishing Egg Flies

Saturday, February 15 2014 6:00 am - for Fly Fishing
It's hard to think of a single more productive pattern for catching trout, salmon and steelhead in winter and early spring than an egg fly. This is particularly true where strong runs of these coldwater fish occur, making eggs an abundant food source. One of the most important decisions in buying or tying an egg fly is what size you want. In the past multiple egg flies were popular. This system involves tying egg clusters on monofilament and then attaching them to the hook so that three or four small eggs can be presented like a gob of eggs. In…
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