Ice fishing with the kids

This afternoon I managed to get out manucking, or ice fishing 🙂 Travis had called at lunch time asking if I was up for driving the 4-wheeler with some kids in the trailer and I jumped at the chance!

About half-way to the fishing spot I realised why I’d drawn the short straw in driving the 4-wheeler as it has no heating elements on the handlebars or throttle trigger 🙁 Even with thick mittens on, when it’s -22C without windchill, squeezing a metal throttle trigger isn’t much fun after a while.

But, after 30 minutes or so riding we got to the fishing spot and they brought out the auger, a petrol-driven machine to drill down through the ice. After 3 months wondering how thick the ice was, they had drive this all the way down so the engine was pretty much into the hole – a good 5/6 feet down:

Drilling into the ice

Due to the cold, the engine kept spluttering and cutting out after they got the first hole cut, but a couple of other holes were just about open for the kids to start getting their fishing gear ready:

Preparing the fishing gear

It’s literally a piece of wood with a fishing line wrapped around one end that is lowered through the hole in the ice down into the water below. Nothing too technical, but they’d caught two good-sized pike yesterday so it doesn’t need to be fancy!

Two kids fishing

Still takes a lot of patience sitting fishing when the windchill easily brought the temperature below -30C. This kid didn’t seem too bothered though:

Fishing takes patience

Apart from the wind, it was very pretty out on the river. It was weird the way the wind had created different snow drifts over the ice, and even looking at everything through tinted goggles (which I was very glad I’d borrowed off Jason!) it was beautiful:

Fishing in the sunshine

Even without a cloud in the sky to block the sun, it wasn’t giving off much warmth! After only half an hour or so the kids wanted to head back as without many fishing holes open and such a cold wind, they weren’t having all that much fun. I broke out a couple of heating pads for the kids to hold on the way back as they got bounced around in the trailer on the back of the 4-wheeler, and they seemed fine when we got back to school. Seems to be a lot of fascination from the kids when people come back from hunting or fishing wanting to know whether we caught anything as there’s still a good portion of their food that seems to come from their own hunting + fishing trips.

But, we got back to school just in time to see some of the native dancing really coming on well after a few days of practice:

Native dancing

I’d tried to take a video, but the camera doesn’t like coming in from the cold and working indoors again right away so the lens kept steaming up. Maybe they’ll have something tomorrow where the kids demonstrate what they’ve learnt over the past week and can try again.

About

Senior Content Development for Microsoft writing about Azure virtual machines. Occasionally I play video games.

Posted in alaska, ice fishing

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About Me

Iain Foulds, 33 years old. Originally from England, now living in Seattle. I currently work as a Senior Content Developer for Microsoft writing about Azure VMs. Gamer. Very passionate about photography. Comments and opinions expressed here are my own. More...

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