So the Fairford River Freeze Off was on even if only 2 participants from Fly Fishing Manitoba were there.
It was -5 on the wake up in the 'Peg and 5 degrees cooler at our destination.
At Ashern there was icicles on the trees and signs.
Having seen some earlier reports including walleye being caught I was prepared to catch more than the usual Lake Cisco.
So with my 4wt 'normal' fly rod and 4wt switch rods in hand I we set off.
First to avoid any possible skunking I targeted the Cisco (locally known as 'Tulibee")...that didn't take more than a few casts.
With that out of the way we both moved to the south side of the river & I got re-acquainted with my switch rod. (Which means I was fussing about re learning how to cast the damn thing instead of catching fish)
First non cisco of the day, and arguably the best fish of the day, belongs to fishing partner for the day; Stephen Jay.
The picture doesn't do it justice it measured out at 22½" but the girth and head were enormous!
The crap on the lens is frozen water as I was trying to get some underwater pics/vids of the cisco schools.
I too caught a wally
The blue finger tips you see are the latex surgical glove SJ brought (based on a rarely good idea from Deanne from the FAOL site. Keeping our hands dry and therefore warmer through the day. (Even after dunking my wool gloves!)
Fishing the same spot (as SJ cooled his heels after his nice fish) I proceeded to foul hook some carp. I did manage this fair hooked one.
Giving up the spot SJ was also snagging carp but also landed this fair hook fish
I think this is our 8th year and by far this was the best combination of weather and fishing. On top of the fish caught SJ also LDR'd a pike and we both saw plenty of perch and suckers.
It was also the busiest day we have ever seen on the river.