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Archive for category ice fishing

Big trout once again

Of course when a spot is artificial only (trophy quality) you expect good sized fish, but this spot is growing some GIANTS.  We each landed a dozen or more fish just this morning.  The Rainbows and Cutthroat are prolific and we are blessed with a great brown here and there too!  Besides pathfinder this may be our go-to this ice season 🙂


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Nebraska and Wyoming ice

Monday morning we left Ogden, Utah after Christmas with our family in Idaho.  By 6pm we were in the middle of Nebraska ready to fish.  One of our favorite spots which had monster gills and crappie was the goal.  When we arrived at dark-thirty Tuesday morning we found our area with a gps and began jigging.  The sound of geese and ducks was the clue that there was still open water on the lake  and the lack of fish coming out of the hole confirmed our disappointment.  The fish just aren’t under the ice if there is good oxygen elsewhere.  So, we packed up and headed back to Casper so we could drive another 100 miles to the north to try our luck there.  This trout spot is as hot as ever.  Erik iced nearly 20 fish and the population is as healthy as ever.  We fished until 3pm before heading back to Casper.

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When we left Casper this morning it was 35º and windy.  As we approached the Sweetwater arm, the tempurature and windspeeds plumeted.  By time we reached the ice it was calm and 3º.  We invited the Hallocks and our friend Ken to join us for some fast tip-up action.  The action wasn’t nearly as fast as we are used to on this reservoir, but we still had a great time catching and releasing more than 2 dozen fish and keeping 4 for the grill (all over 20″).  Tip-up fishing gets crazy becuase the fish will move through in schools and several flags will pop up within a few very short minutes of each other.  Each member of the group runs for the next flag and slides in for the chance at a hookset.  VERY exciting.  Then in between flurries there is time to snack and share stories 🙂 Great trip for friends and socializing!!

On the way home we had a big surprise!  We found 6 antelope horn sheaths as we were driving along a fencline that antelope frequently duck under as they move throughout there range. It was  a really interesting and surprising occurance!


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Two days at Muddy Guard

We always make sure to bring the 9″ auger to this lake!  It is not uncommon to pull 20+” trout on the ice and they are fat.  A multi-species fishery with rainbows, cuttbows, cutthroat  and browns!  We probably only average one or two fish every hour but with the size and quality so good it is worth the time and effort.  The weather this weekend was perfect!  Sunny, calm and high 30’s.  On Saturday we landed a dozen fish with the biggest rainbow being 23″ with a 14″ girth and the biggest cutthroat going 21″. We fished with a couple good friends Tyler and Taya Hallock.

Sunday morning and Erik was awake at 4:00 ready to try it again.  We only fished till 10:30 this morning but landed half a dozen 18″+ rainbows and cutthroats. The weather was again amazingly perfect, sunny and warm.

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Dome Rock

We decided to take a drive and see if any ice thick enough to walk on has formed yet.  We headed toward Dome Rock which is an artificial only trout fishery.  We pulled up a couple hours before dark and drilled a couple holes to test our luck.  Within a few minutes Erik had a nice cutthroat on the ice.  The bite didn’t last long, but it was nice to see these beauties growing bigger and to know it is now ICE SEASON!!

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Ice and bunnies

We haven’t had the best of luck with the ice the last couple weeks.  The weather has not cooperated with us with low pressure two weekends in a row, not to mention that it is getting toward late ice.  The fish are sluggish from lack of oxygen from this long, long winter.  Last weekend as well as yesterday only produced a few fish, albeit nice sized ones.  Our neice, Kylee, experienced her first ice fishing trip this weekend.  We were disappointed she didn’t catch one!

Today, after church, we picked up Max and Chad and went to Pathfinder looking for some cottontails for dinner.  There weren’t a ton of bunnies to be had, but we found enough.  Max shot a rifle for the first time by himself and “bagged” a rabbit of his own!

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Muddy Guard and Meadowlark

Now it’s the girl’s turn…  We got to the lake a little earlier today and within the first 20 minutes Michelle hooked a nice cutbow that hit less than a foot under the ice when she was reeling up to check her jig.  Then after putting some time into jigging and wishing, Taya finally caught a big fish at Muddy Guard!  We decided in the afternoon to go check out Meadowlark, as none of us had ever ice-fished it.  There was a lot of ice and snow, and a person could pull a few rainbows out, but the fish were short and skinny.

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Muddy Guard

Short story even shorter: Today we invited our friends Tyler and Taya to fish with us.  Tyler is an avid flyfisherman and an incredible artist.  Taya and Michelle did not fair so well.  The boys were each able to pull in the giants we were after today, but the girls were skunked.  Erik and Tyler caught several fish over 3 pounds.  It was a beautiful, sunny day in God’s country! 

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Nebraska ice

Nebraska fishing has been strange this year.  Our usual hot spot is not producing.  We are seeing a lot of open water on that reservoir and can’t help but think there is some connection between that and the poor fishing.  So, we are working a different lake and having fun learning a new area.  One of Michelle’s students has family in the area we were fishing, so we had the pleasure of meeting them on the ice!  Day one was slow, but educational.  Day two had a little more action and a bit nicer weather.  All in all it was a very nice weekend.

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Pathfinder ice

The Jim Garbutt family and our college live-in, Elizabeth was up for an adventure with us this Saturday.  We headed for big trout country on the sweetwater arm of Pathfinder.  It is always fun to introduce youngsters to the thrills of the outdoors and none is easier to find than on the ice.  We arrived shortly after sun up and set out more than a dozen tip ups.  All the kids were eager to help with the set up and to learn how the process works.  Within a few minutes we had our first flag.  Within 3 hours we landed more than 15 fish and everyone had a chance to pull in a rainbow.  It was a perfectly calm and balmy day on the ice which always makes the experience that much more enjoyable.

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