It's like summer for ice fisherman, and a lot tougher for everyone else. So let's start with ice fishing. You lucky devils only have to worry about massive snow storms, and if you own a four-wheeler or snowmobile, that only makes the trip onto the ice a little softer rider.
So cold weather is not a huge factor, and it's been a pretty good ice fishing season so far. The guys at Lake Cascade are catching a good mix of trout and perch, and some of those 2-pound perch keep coming in. True to its character, Lake Cascade doesn't hand you many gimmes, but that's not a bad thing. It rewards people who dedicate the time and effort into learning it.
If you're planning to fish in the derby, this is your last weekend to get it dialed in before the fun starts. I will have details next week.
Speaking of derbies, Clear Lake Country Club will host its annual derby on Saturday. Registration starts at 8 a.m. and you can start fishing immediately after registering. There are 8 to 10 tagged trout that are worth prizes including $100 cash and a hotel and dinner at Jackpot, Nev.
The entry fee is $20, which gets you a day of fishing on the private lake, lunch, raffle tickets and a chance at prizes.
The lake is restricted to fly fishing only and it's strictly catch and release, but there will still be prizes for longest fish caught and most.
Organizers say the goal is to just have fun, not have an intense competition, so don't feel like you need sponsor patches on your fishing shirt to participate.
If you miss the derby, Clear Lake is still a fun place to fish, and a great escape from winter.
Roger Phillips: 377-6215, Twitter: @rogeroutdoors