Sunday, February 25, 2018

The End

It doesn't feel right to be putting away hardwater gear in February, but here we are. For all the ice we built up in January, it withered away rather abruptly over the last two weeks. Not realizing it was my final trip of the season at the time, I have since found solace that it happened on a lake I hadn't fished in three years, spent with a classic crew catching quality fish. 

The entire day was overcast and never fell below freezing. After a slow start, there were spurts of flags throughout the morning and afternoon. The best wave of action came just before 11:00 a.m., when we had a number of nice fish come topside within a span of a few minutes. By days end we caught and released some hefty smallies and took home a pile of fat yellow perch for the skillet. A steady rain chased us off a little earlier than we would have liked, but it was a hell of a trip and a great way to close out the ice season.

A big reason why I love ice fishing is the unknown. I know that I'll be able to fish my favorite streams and beaches come spring, summer and fall, but it's far from a guarantee that I'll walk on water each winter at my favorite lakes and ponds. This ice season started out cold enough that I thought it could go until April and now I'm dusting off the fly gear. You play the hand you're dealt...

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