Monday, December 5, 2011

Frozen Memories

Sunrise on Henry's Lake
I had plans to hit the woods this past Saturday but my brother, dad, and my cousin convinced me to go ice fishing instead. I was dying because I had been seeing a couple good bucks in this new area I wanted to hunt, but I was glad I decided to go fishing. I thought if nothing else it was a great opportunity to spend some time with family. We were fishing on Henry's Lake which is just over an hour drive but well worth the trip. The temperature was suppose to be well below 0 degrees and I was nervous it was going to be too cold to be enjoyable. Boy was I wrong!

Mountain Range at Henry's Lake

When we pulled in and checked the temperature according to the vehicle it was a blistering 11 degrees. This was actually good news considering it was going to be well below 0 degrees. We ventured out onto the frozen lake and began drilling some holes. Watching the sunrise on a calm winter morning was pure bliss. It's funny how you can be sitting in freezing cold weather, all bundled up, and being happy. Now there was only one way that was going to make this any better. That was to be catching some fish.

These are the Contraptions

My dad and brother have been ice fishing quiet a bit this year and they had seen a contraption that helped them hook the fish. You are allowed 5 poles per person here in Idaho so they thought this was a genius idea. So instead of buying them they decided they would try and make some themselves, you know, true DIY style. They came up with a prototype, tested it out, and it worked great. They just used a mousetrap, wood, and some pvc pipe. It works great! Once a fish nibbles on the bait, the tension sets the mousetrap causing the rod tip to flip up and hook the fish.

The day started out slowly but that began to change pretty quick. This lake has been known to produce some giants. I know because I have seen some monsters taken. During the summer, my brother bagged himself a 10.5 pound hybrid, and a couple years ago my wife bagged a giant 14 pound hybrid. This was her first time fishing on this lake and of course she had to show me how it was done.

3 pound Brook Trout

My brother started out by hooking a couple nice brook trout to start off the day. Then it was my turn. I sat there jigging and having a conversation and BAM I got a bite. I reeled it in and pulled my biggest brook trout in weighing in at a whopping 3 lbs! I was so excited. This was a great way to start the day. I quickly took some pictures and baited my hook to start jigging again. At this point I can't remember if it was cold or not.

Then as I was sitting there jigging my pole in hopes of getting another bite, one of the contraptions went off behind me. As I turned to see, the pole was bouncing up and down frantically. I quickly got over to the hole and lifted the pole and sure enough the fish on the other end was hooked. This one had a little more fight then the others. I was reeling in the fish but he continued to fight back. I could tell this one had a little more weight behind it. I would reel him in and he'd take out some more line. It was a battle between him and I. Just then I caught a glimpse of his tail near the ice and I managed to mumble something like "this is a little bigger fish guys". So my brother and dad came over and huddled around to help grab the fish. He got up close to the hole and I had some trouble getting his head to start coming up and we just sat there saying to ourselves that this is a nice fish. Then he gave us the opportunity we needed as he started coming through the ice and my brother reached down and pulled him on up. I couldn't believe my eyes! I had just caught my biggest fish I have caught.

6.5 Pounds 26" Long
I was pumped. I was like a little kid and had a grin the rest of the day. We had such a great day, between the 4 of us we ended up catching 30 total fish. The limit is 2 fish per person so we had to really decide which ones to keep and which ones to let go. Needless to say this one went home with us. It was a beautiful day and will be a trip I will always remember!

Good Times on the ice
Nice colored up Hybrid

Big Head Bright Colored Brook

Good looking Brook Trout

My nice Cutthroat
Happy Fisherman

This was a fantastic trip and the plan was to go hunting that evening but when you are busy catching fish like this, you kind of lose track of time. It was a blast and I am grateful to live in an area where I can actually juggle the idea of catching fish like this in the morning and chase deer in the evening!


  1. What an awesome day on the ice, Dustin! Ice fishing is one of the things I miss about NY, but I never caught a 6.5 lb trout either. Awesome stuff and thanks for posting pictures, too. Makes the story that much better!

  2. Thanks Al. It was sure a blast and it is a great way to pass the time in the winter.

  3. Awsome!! Can't to go fishing with you and the famly.