While Will and his cohorts are fishing the big rivers like the Bighorn and the Missouri, cussing the ice on their rods, there are still some of us that are embracing frozen water.
I have always enjoyed introducing newcomers to ice-fishing. Most folks envision the activity as sitting by a hole in the ice, being bored to tears, shivering in the frigid temperatures. But, with some planning (and a lot of gear, i.e. auger, shanty and heater), fishing through the ice for trout, walleye, pike or perch, can be a lot of fun and is a nice winter break.
I had first put Laura on some perch on a local reservoir and she quickly picked up the knack of hooking the tasty little fish, as they nibbled on the waxworm/ teardrop jig presentation. We enjoyed a thermos of a warm beverage and listened to the local radio station, as we jigged next to the propane heater in the canvas shack. She was hooked.
The next adventure was a hunt for big trout-fishing that would provide less action and require more finesse in trying to get the feisty rainbows onto the ice. The adventure started out ugly; we drilled holes by hand in blizzard, white-out conditions. But, once inside the shack, the heater was on, and so was the action. The clear water allowed us to watch the occasional fish cruise by, with Laura quickly landing a nice 20" fish, with very little advice from the "know-it-all". Spring fishing can wait for a few more weeks. Some of us are still catching fish through eight inch holes drilled in the ice.