Interesting contrasts provided when SE MN fisherman goes to NE Iowa:
(1) Keep fish year-round. I like that part of the deal. Because I like to fish my way along the stream, catching and releasing and keeping.
(2) More stocked fish. Aggressive program that puts more catchable size fish in the water. No qualitative evaluation of this fact; it is what it is.
(3) Per 1 and 2 above, many more people out and about fishing in January.
We had nothing going so I suggested I take a kid down for a long weekend; reply was that I too would love to participate so it came to four in a cabin. Trout water visible from the second-story patio. My original intention was to push hard to get at least one kid his first trout; but that dissolved quickly when it became very apparent that 3/4 of the group wanted to relax in warmth, reading and watching TV. This always difficult for me to deal with; certainly in this case, but I resolved to be at ease with everybody doing what they felt like doing; was afterall a vacation of sorts. Older son gave a modest effort with a jig and twister tail on a deep bend that I picked out for him... no strikes; windy; he lost interest quickly and went back to rolling big snowballs and dropping them off the bridge. Trout fishing may be some of the most difficult for kids. I have to get it in my head that an adult can't project himself straight into the kids and expect that they ought to like hard work going after fish, enduring tough conditions to come out bright and calm on the far side. Kids like comfort and warmth and security. They like fun and they like catching fish but maybe they don't like working hard for them or beating themselves up to feel alive.
As it happened then, I walked the stream in the vicinity for maybe 3 hours on the first day. Immediately saw that it would be very challenging, because (1) pretty crappy water, and (2) quite a few people around. A lot of wide and shallow is what was offered up. Only a couple good deep holes. I was convinced that the fish would be only in the dark depths, so I stood over those and pounded away with streamers. Three people came by while I was fishing. I had never experienced that in a day of winter angling. Moved or hooked four nice fish, but landed none. I figured I'd missed my chances, given the situation. I sulked around and started throwing the streamer into some of the shit water, smacking the surface as close to woody debris as I could put it (even if only a few inches deep). This drew out three rainbow trout, two of which I killed and kept; the other wouldn't eat; would only chase and charge. This did prompt me to reconsider some of the previously dubbed crap water but nothing came of it. Two stocker rainbows with beat up, rounded fins and guts full of filamentous algae. Would bring anyone to late afternoon beer.