Tuesday, December 29, 2009


All day on the ice yesterday, Minna, Dutton and I were singing......'Hey we want some Crappie!!' Unfortunately for us, the fish gods were saying..............'Mere mortals you will receive Northerns and Gills'.

That's life.....when given lemons make lemonade.

We caught a bucket full of blue gill, and had Northern after Northern on the tip ups. Christmas was good for the FAT family. Santa left us all kinds of fishing gear: tip-ups, ice jigs, rods, and Dutton got a new Shanty. Talk about a fishing nut, the boy has more ice gear than most adults and now he has his own shanty! We hit the lake at sunrise. My Frabill was packed with gear and food. Dutton took his shanty out for the first time. He's got a big heart but he needs to exercise more. He made a couple of stops on the way to our spot....finally he got there panting like he'd run a marathon.

We set up my shanty and Dutton parked next to us. We did our usual grid of ice holes. It amazes me how many people actually go out and hand drill one hole. They sit on it for half an hour to an hour then drill another. Even with a hand auger we tap at least 9 to 12 holes in a grid. This gives us flexibility and coverage. We're able to move the tip ups and jig different holes before we lock down our shanty and make a "base camp". The reason to bring Minna and Dutton......is the extra three rods per child. Hey, you should take a kid ice fishing!!

Minna got a Pink tip up for Christmas and was the first one to break the skunk. It was a nice little snake and actually made a run for her! After an action photo and a quick release we went back to the shanty and kept warm. Winds were blowing over 20 mph!! At 20F that's not the kind of wind chill to stand out in with wet hands. We found the weed line on the grid and started jigging some blue gills. We didn't get any action on the jigs and spoons so Dutton dropped the camera down the hole to make sure we still had some fish. They were there giving us the fin! I changed over to a small bead-head nymph. It's good to be a Fly Fisherman who lives in the north. If you can't fly fish, you can always jig a nymph on a tiny 00000000wt fly rod!! On the first drop I got a gill, then we started to get lots of them. All it took was a little bounce, then let it set. We tipped the nymph with a red spike......deadly.

Dutton's one man Denali shanty is the BOMB for mobility! I had the kids in the Frabill and I scooted around the holes in the Denali. All in all it was a cold windy day, but it's worth hearing your son say............"Dad, you're the best Dad ever!"

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Lake Erie Trib

The boys and I made the Erie, PA pilgrimage over Thanksgiving. It was an Awesome Trip. We posted a photo album on Facebook!

We left early Friday morning and were fishing in the 20F weather by noon. We started on the Elk, which was not kind to us. There were lots of people out and we had to find a place that wasn't too crowded. Not good fly fishin odds on the holiday after Thanksgiving. We picked up and moved alot fishing up to 20 Mile Creek and finally got a couple at dusk by the mouth, but alas we didn't bring the net or the camera. So while Dutton slept in the car, Chief and I broke the skunk!

Saturday morning at 5sm, We started on 18 Mile. We got a fish there and then worked down towards the Elk. We had a couple of smaller fish in almost ever river we fished but no FAT fish. Saturday was mostly about the smaller fish action and searching for the FATTIES. Chief was the man today. He put up the numbers while Duke and I watch in envy!

Sunday.......Sunday was the day for Duke and I. We fished a smaller stream.........and whacked them on a FATMAN White Erie Flash Bugger! Dutton sat below a water fall and caught fish after fish on an egg and on flash flies. I got the FATTIE with 10 minutes left in the trip. BAM!!! Nice fish to the shore, photos and a quick release.

Great Trip to be with the heathens. It's good to know the boys still can fish