For the past 25-plus years, one of my favorite pursuits has been winter fishing. No, the fish aren't nearly as active as they will be in another three or so months, but there's still sport to be had.
Much of my wintertime angling has been on rivers, directed toward walleye and sauger. But for the past few years, the focus has been shared with stream fishing for trout, wild fish mostly, native brookies and wild browns.
As is the case during the warmer months, much of the attraction of plying these streams — which for the most part are quite small — is the idyllic setting in which they flow. Save those of a trapper, the only tracks you're likely to find will be those of mink and muskrats, raccoons and coyotes, foxes and deer.
Speaking of tracks, here's a tip to abide by if you decide to indulge in a form of winter fishing that involves the wearing of wading boots: leave the felt-soled boots at home. If you don't have them, consider investing in a pair of wading boots that utilize some form of rubber outsole.
Why the negativity toward felt? When there's no snow on the ground, there is none. Providing I'm not fishing in an area where invasives are present — which can be transported from stream to stream via felt soles, which are difficult to clean — I often wear felts. But snow packs up on felt soles with amazing efficiency, quickly providing the wearer with a pair of Frankenstein feet. You'll spend as much time looking for appropriate logs and rocks on which to clear your boots as you will places to drop a fly or lure.