As an early spring snowstorm pelts much of the region, it's clear winter just doesn't want to go away.
That is good news for the diehard ice fishermen and women of the Adirondacks, who are still finding lots of good ice with little more than a week to go until the opening of open-water trout season April 1.
Guys who fish Lake George were reporting 9 to 15 inches of ice on places like Northwest Bay, off Million Dollar Beach and the main lake off Veterans Park in Bolton, though a sunny, warm day will eat away at that quickly. The big lake will be one of the first to lose its safe ice, and this is a time of year to be particularly careful. A lot can change in a matter of hours in March, as the sun gets stronger.
Many of the smaller lakes and ponds will undoubtedly have good ice into April, the way the forecast looks at this point. And that's after many of them were fishable through the ice as of early December. That's 3-1/2 months of solid ice fishing this winter.
While it looks like the streams of the Adirondacks will be tough to fish come April 1, my friends in southern Washington County and points south say there is little snowpack down that way, so some of the smaller streams that aren't fed by the snow-filled mountains may be okay come early April.
The Batten Kill and Mettawee River originate in western Vermont, and usually stay pretty high well into April because of snow in mountains there. Good early season alternatives should include Halfway Brook, Snook Kill, Kayderosseras Creek and many of the small tributaries that have wild fish.
There won't be much, if any, trout stocking done by then, but early season is a good time to find some lunkers and holdovers that are feeding after a long, slow winter.
-- Don Lehman