Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The West Grand Experience (Part II)

View to the west just after getting set in

You know you have good friends when you can here them snickering over coffee taking bets whether or not I'd step in the dog poop by the closet after getting up for breakfast.  The brothers once again awesome in their individuality joined forces for evil purposes rather than unite for the good.   After I averted the trap, the breakfast of bacon, eggs, potatoes, and coffee made up for the dastardly actions of the pair.  We soon started getting dressed for the quick jaunt to the landing, from there we would unloaded the snowmobiles, all terrain vehicles, and other amenities that would transfer in tow.

It was at this point my good friend, Murphy (you know that bastard), decided to hinder my good day.  My Yamaha Big Bear had the rear drum brake frozen solid and it would not break free.  After maybe twenty minutes of fast Mr. Buddy heating action, we simply re-rigged the dogsled to fit onto Bret's Artic Cat Bearcat and took off for Pineo Cove.  I suppose it would be fitting to add at this point that all of my provisions, particularly the edible type, were still in storage in my ATV seat.  Therefore, I knew I would have to quietly mooch my way throughout the day.  I hoped no one would notice.

Once to our destination, we immediately commenced the hole drilling action.  Somehow, I managed to drill my holes first then get sucked into helping Matt Diesel drill his and then watch as Matt took my ice skimmer as somehow he lost his on the way.  This critical move into jockeying position surprisingly left me waiting as I watched everybody get the gear into action.  To make matters worse, flags were going up and I was left jigging into a slush filled hole hoping for something great but expecting absolutely no luck.  I quietly cursed the absence of my four wheeler for I'd be part of the action mobilizing everything from the comfort of my dogsled.  Here and now, I was just a spectator watching people ice fishing.

The Mayor
Finally, I was able to get my gear in as I believe three salmon had already been caught at that point.  The mayor, Uncle Kim, found his way over with me and joined me in one of my camp chairs.  We shot the bull some, enjoyed the morning, and watched everyone else have all the action.  It was at this point where I mentioned to the mayor that this one spot, "looked awful lonely" and needed a tip up.  So I drilled another ten inch hole in the ice, walked out to one of the long bombs dedicated to lake trout and returned back to our base camp.  This hole about fifty feet from shore made my most northerly tip up of the line all running parallel to the shoreline.  Only one stood alone about 50 yards further out.

Finally as if meant to be, I acquired my first flag on the very hole that I gambled on.  The spool was spinning fierce and the boys were gaining excitement as the retrieval began.  Once I coerced the salmon into the drilled hole it shot straight out of the water and onto the ice.

A beautiful 18 inch salmon that put me onto the lunker prize position must have exceeded two pounds and pushed towards three.  It was just a fine specimen and at that point, the day would prove easy going.  Sometimes, the sporting field makes for unfortunate circumstances and with the early disaster of a frozen brake, I was hoping that I'd be in the mix for some fishing action.  That all was fixed by one nice salmon, the pressure was off.

Not long after that, I scored another flag about seventy-five feet from the earlier action.  But opportunity did not knock as I had neglected to loosen the spool for salmon.  The tip up had been a gift from my daughter, pink in color and had not seen any action this year.  The spool moved some, we let out line, but my second catch of the day eluded.

We found ways to occupy ourselves with the brilliant sunny day.  The day was mild and possible for fishing without heavy jackets.  Matt Diesel and I spent some time jigging for lake trout around his long bomb tip up that set off several times.  Then we readied my newest present, an Otter Magnum sled, for a rousing haul around the cove.  After a good solid throttling on the ice, we pulled back into the camp for a fire and hot dogs.

The mid-day fishing was slow but we persevered with the beautiful day.  We knew our next morning would not promise the opportunity that stood at the present moment.  After a quick pick up, we shot south back to the landing and hit the store before closing.

Rabid taking a break from the tip up flurry

Matt Diesel trying out the newly acquired snowmobile

Somehow Rabid always makes sure he's in the photo

The DEDH, Maine Outdoorsman, Matt Diesel, and Bret


  1. I'm proud of you guys for drinking fully loaded, good ole fashion, American, Red white and blue, BUDWEISER!! Nice fish by the way! Looks like an awesome time!

  2. Great read and even better pics! Looks like way too much fun. I have to agree Trey, nothing beat an All-American Bud, though I would have to supplement with a great West Coast (Oregon) whiskey-Pendleton.

  3. Exceptional! Looks like you all had a "Grand" time!!

  4. I like the new header! Nice shot!

  5. Soooooooo, apparently by the justification of YOUR camera lens I just sat on the 4 wheeler and drank beer all day? Where are my fish pics mistah! :)

  6. I have a photo of you eating sardines, that's about the closest I can come to providing a fish photo. Try your brother, he may have been a little more accommodating...


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