But, Saturday was the last day of January, 2015. The DNR was to have stocked a nearby lake with trout earlier in the week, and it was bugging me knowing they were there and I hadn't yet paid them a visit.
I sent text messages to a couple guys I thought might have taken a recent look at that lake. I was in luck! One was out there when I sent the text message! Ice conditions were OK...around 6" thick. Nobody catching much, unfortunately.
So, I threw my icefishing gear in the vehicle and headed for the lake.
There were a lot of people there, considering the conditions. It was overcast, 35 degrees F, and drizzling. The drizzle made the surface of the ice rather slippery. Apparently there was some open water in one corner of the lake, and a flyfisherman was making me jealous as I watched him casting. I didn't watch him long enough to know if he caught anything, but he was there for awhile so hopefully he did well.
I ice-fished for 3 hours, didn't see much, other than a couple 12" long rainbow trout that decided to make my day while I was sightfishing the shallower water.
Later that afternoon, the drizzle turned to snow, and it was AMAZING how fast that little bit of precipitation accumulated into 14" of fresh damp snow!
The smaller ponds had extremely questionable ice on them before the rain/snow. Snow on bad ice can insulate it, preventing it from forming more good ice, even if air temps are conducive to ice production. Hopefully we'll soon get either better ice, or the ice will disappear, so I can keep fishing! :)