My fishing buddy, Barry and I have been threatening to go ice fishing since it first turned cold. Being a transplanted city boy I’ve never had the opportunity to ice fish and I’ve always wanted to give it a try. January was busy. In February it rained and we lost the ice. Earlier this month there were colds and commitments and work to deal with. Sadly it never rose to the top of the list.
With spring having arrived earlier in the week along with the return of winter temperatures and ice, we decided it was either now or next year. Now seemed like the better choice so we both ditched work for the afternoon and hit the lake.
We went to a lake not far from his place in Quadeville and quickly set up our gear. Interestingly, on the way to the lake we drove down Wingle Road, right past the Wingle Inn. The place is all boarded up now but Barry remembers the long-gone proprietor Joe and wasn’t a bit surprised to hear of my family’s less than fruitful dealings with him 30 and 40 years ago. A trip down shadey memory lane 🙂
The appearance of snow, freezing rain, ice pellets, and pouring rain dared us to turn around and go home but instead I just put my rain coat over my parka and dropped my line through the hole in the ice. And I waited. And jigged. And waited.
We were after trout and we only caught a couple. They were on the small side. Barry felt bad that we didn’t catch more, thinking that he had failed me as a fish whisperer. I was over-the-top pleased that I had finally made it out fishing before the ice disappeared and I missed yet another year. For me it was about the process not the outcome. And the process was awesome. Big warm boots. 4 layers of clothes. A couple of hooks baited with minnows dangled through the ice trying to tempt the fish. From my perspective it could hardly have been better, fish or no fish.
Despite his insistence I let him keep the catch this time. I also left him and his family with 2 different kinds of my home made sausages to thank him for his ongoing efforts to get me out on the lake.
And the local wisdom, according to Barry: ‘fishing and catching are 2 different things.’ True enough, but that won’t deter me from taking every opprtunity to fish that comes way. For me, its all about the process.