It's a winter wonderland in the backyard. Our snowshoe trail invites adventure. Good times with my canine friends.
I took the girls out to the Family Grounds Beaver Pond today. This was Belle's first visit and her longest woods walk to date. As we traveled in the truck to our parking area Bay rode shotgun.
Wherever I have taken Bay she remembers the route. She may sleep for the hour long ride to camp but as soon as we are on Camp Mountain Road she is fully alert.
Just we pulled into our spot I looked over to Bay and repeated a couple times, "teach Belle". Her ears perked up and to my surprise she turned and looked at her assignment in the back seat.
At no time in our journey was either dog out of my sight. Both worked the woods trail together. Bay has always hunted very close. I can see Belle is going to inherit this trait.
One thing Belle learned on this trip is those little raisins the deer left behind in the snow don't taste very good.
It wouldn't be winter without a visit to the canoe.
The beaver are back and the pond is once again flooded.
Looking forward to this view in October 2014 while gunning for Daffy with our brace of yella' dogs.
It has been a couple years since Coalman and Bay have taken a trip on hard water to fish. There were work deadlines that needed to be met in January. Those commitments meant working weekends and that kept us off the lakes and ponds. But it is because of the job we get to enjoy life’s other pleasures.
An email earlier this month from our friend, Guide Jim, holding a 4 plus pound brown trout got our priorities back on track. Team Coalman has never caught a brown trout. It didn’t hurt each day at work when starting the computer that his picture is now our screensaver.
Since it has been so long since the gear has been wet a lot of prep work was needed to get our ice fishing equipment back to working condition. After completing the fishing tools it only took three pulls to get the gas powered auger fired up. The two cycle exhaust smelled like fishing memories.
This year the four-wheeler was to earn it’s keep by providing Bay and Coalman with transportation on the ice. Our Jet sled was upgraded with a hitch and cover so we could tow our supplies. All that was left to do was fish.
Guide Jim, his son Tim, Bay and Coalman were drilling holes on Secret Pond at daybreak today. We brought along six dozen shiners for bait. After setting four traps each we all grouped around our mobile shelter to try our luck at jigging. It didn’t take long and the color yellow was on the ice. Yellow perch would be the most numerous fish caught on this outing and jigging caught more fish than the traps.
Bay was never too far from a flag.
Or a jig pole
Tim’s brown trout
Happy father and son
Coalman’s first ever brown trout
We had a visit from a group of homeowners from along the shore of the pond. They told us they had three mature bald eagles feeding on fish scraps in front of their homes. Jim got up from jigging and went around and gathered up some smaller yellow perch for the ladies to take back. At this time his jig pole is about to head to Davey Jones’s locker. With a quick snatch of his stick Coalman pulled a nice largemouth bass to the surface. One of the group of four ladies proudly said, “I know how to hold that fish”. So the ladies went home with their bag of yellow perch and a group photo of them displaying the bass. Memories can happen in a heartbeat.
In mid afternoon we watched a mature bald eagle fly to one of our distant traps and snatch a previously caught pickerel off the ice. It flew a couple hundred feet away, landed, spread its wings over it prey and devoured that green fish. We were just a little too far away for a Kodak moment.
We had pretty much nonstop action all day long. By late afternoon our bait supply was in the single numbers under five. It was time to pack up on our adventure.
Anybody seen Bay?
Our 3 AM wake up got to Bay first. She was having a snooze.
Yellow, white, green and brown……our kind of rainbow.
The best thing about the snow is the anticipation of a nightly shoe with the yellow dogs. Got the west side trail packed down Wednesday.
Last night we went east.
Tonight we connect the trails.
...why ice fishing isn't at the top of my to do list......
and I think seven below zero has something to do with that......which was the temperature we started off our ice fishing day in rural Maine. It was so cold there was a fog hanging over the lake.
Lots of big yellow perch today. No whites, no trout, no pickerel.
Big fish of the day went to yours truly on a jigging pole, with a minnow tipped Swedish pimple, from a depth of over 30 feet
4.8 pound largemouth bass. Larry got the release of life.
Even though the temperatures were low the camaraderie was high. Thanks Jim and Jim and our canine companions Jemma and Bay, for a great day in God's church of the outdoors.
My son Shawn and his girlfriend Christine came over for a backyard snowshoe. Beautiful afternoon to be out and about.