The South end of Ennis lake broke free from the ice this week with a little help from rising air temperatures and constant inflow from the Madison. Currently, Ennis Lake is still extremely low and the inflow channels are very shallow. The majority of the lake is still locked in ice, and getting from the main channel inflow to Clutes Landing on the lake is doable with a little patience in navigating through channels of open water amongst the ice.
Fishing was only fair, however. Most fish in the lake have not begun to start pushing toward the river quite yet, it seemed. In 6 or so hours we landed maybe a dozen fish on girdle bugs, eggs, and number 2 blue fox spinners. The bird life right now is exceptional, however. Juvenile bald eagles are abundant, as well as pelicans, mallards, snow geese, Canada geese, and mergansers. Grebes, Coots, and Curlews should be arriving soon now as open water expands.
For the next few weeks, worm patterns, girdle bugs, prince nymphs, eggs, and leeches, will be effective fly patterns on the lake. There were a few adult skwalas on the water surface as well, but trout weren't keyed on them at all. I suspect the nymph variations of stoneflies are much more important with these predominantly cool temps we're still experiencing.