Every year over in Pinedale, Wyoming, the Pinedale Boat Club holds an annual ice fishing derby on Fremont Lake. Back in 2010, Papa Bear entered the derby and went alone. This year, and partly due to Bear Cub not having school on Friday, BC and I went with him.
From here, I’ll let PB tell you his story.
“In all reality, 530 am came way too early on Saturday morning as I stumbled out of bed and got dressed to go register for the Pinedale Ice Fishing Derby. Mama Bear also got up to get coffee going for me. By 6am I was at the Lakeside Lodge filling out paperwork and paying the fee for the fishing competition.
I returned to the cabin, sucked down the coffee and then dragged my sled out onto the ice. Despite everything that was on the small sled I had, it moved across the ice very easily. By 7am (Official start time), I was set up in about 110 feet of water…
There was much more room in this shelter compared to the old shelter I had previously owned. For starters I could stand up straight in it. The sun soon came up and the shelter warmed up nicely. In fact I had no need for my catalytic heaters.
In the first 4 hours I only caught (or even saw on the fish finder) one fish. It was so small that after he posed for the photo, it was returned to the water. The amazing thing was that the lure that it attacked was the size of the length of it’s head. They really are an aggressive fish.
To sum up Saturdays fishing in one word? Pathetic.
The hi-light of the day for me was that, after I have moved in closer to the shore, MB walked out from the cabin to bring oatmeal and coffee for me, and then hang out with me for about an hour or so. She did not officially fish, but she was very intent on watching the rods with me. It was during this time that both of us wondered about the group of people who were fishing right in front of the lodge in what seemed to be very shallow water.
Later in the day after I had packed up for the day I spoke with an old gentlemen at the lodge. He was there helping with the competition and was quick to give some advice. I asked him about the people who had been fishing close to the lodge and he advised me that they were fishing for Rainbow Trout and that they had caught quite a few fish that day. I knew what I was doing on Sunday.
So, here came Sunday at 530 am. This time it was a little easier with some of the bumps in preparation ironed out from Saturday. After eating my oatmeal and drinking my mandatory two cups of coffee, while watching snow mobiles buzz by in the predawn light, on the back porch, I moved out on onto the ice and again, by 7am, I was ready. Despite the snow flurries and cooler temperatures, I did not set up the shelter because I was quite warm in my layered clothing.
My line had not been in the water for 5 minutes when “WHAM!!” my rod was almost bent in half….Line was going out as I was reeling in!!!! And then it happened…”SNAP!!” and I was left standing there looking at my line flailing in the wind…..
A short time later I caught my first fish. It was only about 14 inches long so I just returned it to the water. Now to sum up the fishing of Sunday…..Better!!!!.
By the time MB and Bear Cub had checked out of the cabin at 11 am, I had two more fish snap my line and had landed a 15 inch and 17 inch Rainbow Trout. The crazy thing was that I was fishing in 9 feet of water!! 9 feet!!!.
To say I felt much better about my fishing that day was an understatement.
By 2pm, we were on the road back home. The fee for the competition includes a years membership to the Pinedale Boat Club and they have a few more events planned through the year. based off our experience with the cabin, and lodge staff, I know that we will be returning there”. ~PB
Here are a few more pictures from the weekend.
As the derby was drawing to a close on Sunday, more and more people started to come off the ice. PB suddenly found himself surrounded by people that seemed very interested in how his fish finder worked. Something I don’t think he was expecting.
And finally we have this fellow…