Friday, February 14, 2003

TROUT FISHING IN AMERICA
(IN THE WINTER, IN THE ADIRONDACKS)


Back in January we were visting my family up in Glens Falls. This is the kind of place you want to be in the case of any terrorist activities, not down here near DC. Out in the boonies. Foothills of the Adirondacks. Lots of mountains anbd trees. My mom, and my brother and his family still live up there, in the town where I grew up. So its nice to go and visit, to see the long cold winters that I remember so fondly. But its a jaded memory-- when I am up there I spend most of the time going "holy fricken shit its cold up here."

So anyway, my brother mike was bugging me go ice fishing. He used to ski all the time, but that ended up being too much work, now he jut sits on the ice and waits for fish to strike.

Its oddly entertaining. We went out on New Years day. Lake George wasn't frozen acrosss yet so wwe drove up to Schroon lake, parked at the access, and hauled out our gear out on the ice.

"Its a pretty nice day. I don't think we'll need the shanty" Mike said as I recall. Chris Thompson, an old freind of ours just started laughing. Meanwhile, my blood that has been thinnned from too many hot summers and old fashioned, was not ready for it.

We soldier out on the ice. Mike and Chris each drill there 5 hole sin the ice. Its kind of crowded, there are 5 or 6 other groups within eyesight. What you do is you make you're ice holes in a straight line, so you can always identify you're tip-ups. Tip-ups are the gizmos you use to fish; you attach the spring loaded flag to your fishing reel which sits on a cross made of wodden sticks. You place the contrapion across the hole in the ice, and when the flag pops up, Presto! Dinner.

So we wen tout and sat in lawn chairs in our heavy clothing for what seemedd like a while. It was cool. Chris brought some homemade smoked salmon that he made from salmon he caught on a recent trip to Alaska. And then we got a strike.

It was a 27 inch lake trough, literally the one that got away. It had a leader and fishing line trailing from his but, which we figure was from the last time someone tried to catch him. So we took some pictures with our first and only catch of the day, and eventually packed up and headed in. Some eight hours later my feet finally thawed out.

But I forgot to mention about the other fish, the one we caught but couldn't fit through the whole. I think it was some kind of mutant walleye. It had three eyes, and teeth that were so long you could use them sew with. I had tried to pull him out, but he sunk those teeth into my arm. Luckily it was so cold I couldn't bleed, so it didn't hurt none. I wanted to pull him off my arm, but Mike didn't want to risk loosing the fish. So he drove his car out on the ice and tied a rope around my chest, and started to drag me across the ice. Just then the car fell in the water, with Chris inside it. Of couse this was back when they made cars well, ya know so running a car underwater wasn't any big deal. But of course that is a whole nother story.

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