Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Northern Pike Experience: Part One

This year's annual ice fishing trip offered once again a variety of experiences that bring about a camaraderie that pulls together the brethren of committed outdoor enthusiasts and leaves us once again anticipating the convergence of Febauchery™ next year.  There exists no question that our time together on the ice left each one of us better for the experience.  For that, I'll do my best to present this as I see fit.

Ryan pheasant hunting out Midwest
Usually upon the eve of any major gathering a cancellation occurs, and Steve (Rabid Outdoorsman) found himself stuck with an extra ticket to the 28th Annual Ice Fishing Derby.  While we finalized our planning over the phone, I mentioned that I might be able to bring someone if he didn't mind.  Within one phone call, that ticket was sold with a guarantee that it would be "a trip to remember".  The man who answered opportunity's knocking door was Ryan, a former student of mine and a serious outdoorsman.  In addition, his wife and mine are great friends, workout buddies, and co-workers at the elementary school.  Ryan and I have hunted together in the past, he even skipped a detention for an afternoon duck hunt which left us both in a little trouble.  But then again, we all find ourselves in a scrape once in awhile.  Anyways, I had to laugh when I asked if he would like to attend for I found out later he was at a Texas Hold'em gathering holding pocket aces when I called.  He said, "I'm all in" which I thought was his reaction to my offer.  The card shark officially became the next participant in Febauchery™.

Ryan's 8.5 lb laker at East Grand Lake
We rolled out around 12:30 p.m. Saturday, and made our way west with the occasional stop here and there for provisions, gear, and general entertainment.  There wasn't a dull moment on the ride as we threw stories about the past, fishing, hunting, and any other circumstance that suggested a hint of debauchery.  In what seemed short time, I put the truck into park and we were greeted by none other than Pa Vose and Uncle Kim the mayor of Township 27.

After the formalities were addressed, gear unpacked, and drinks distributed, we chatted and prepared for our evening meal.  Steve and Matt were out at the bait site, hoping to find a coyote.  Eventually, we all sat down at the table for a meal and the beginning of festivities in anticipation of our ice fishing derby in the morning.  3 a.m. was just a few turns of the hour hand away.

Part Two in a few days.

Have a great day,

The Downeast Duck Hunter

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