Hold the phone. With one simple Alberta Clipper, Montana had another visit from ol' man winter, and I was packing up ice fishing rods, fish houses, heaters and plenty of warm clothing.
Arriving at the lake, I was surprised that it was deserted. Then again, with the combination of earlier reports of ice deterioration and now with expected high temperatures in single digits, there were a number of reasons why people wouldn't risk a trip to the outback of Montana.
As typical of post cold-front fishing, the walleyes were a bit sluggish. Most of the 1-2 pound "eaters", were caught in the twilight hours. Northern pike were active during the day, giving us problems trying to land the toothy, aggressive fish on lighter walleye and perch tackle. We did get a few of them up onto the ice, Andy bringing in one around 18lbs, that he released.
But, as is usually the case, the fishing trip was only partly about the fishing. Scott treated us to a meal of elk burgers Saturday night, mule deer surrounded us the entire weekend, with coyotes howling in every direction. And when my diesel truck wouldn't start Sunday morning at 15 degrees below, I was quickly reminded that we have plenty of winter remaining. Maybe too much.