With the success of last year's trip down to Stockade, I was again approached by the head of the Outdoor Women of South Dakota (OWSD) to take a group of ladies out onto the ice for some fishing. This was a fun event last year and I jumped at the chance to do it again, only this year, I planned on having them head to Deerfield for some rainbow trout action as the fish have been concentrating in an area for most of the season now due to the weeds that were still green and giving off oxygen and attracting bugs and other food for them to feast upon.
I arrived at the area a couple of hours before they were going to show up and made sure the fish were still around and to set up and prep the area with chairs, flashers, and rods ready to drop. This time, all fish would be caught with Clam Maki plastics and no live bait. I was confident that the ladies wouldn't need anything else. I caught nearly a dozen good sized rainbows in the lead-up time so yep, they were still around.
Upon arrival, I found out a few more ladies had decided to join the event. I had five listed originally, but had extra flashers around just in case, plus one of them had her own to help. After some quick flasher reading tips and jig cadence suggestions, no sooner did the ladies start dropping their jigs down than the fish started hitting!
All but one of the ladies would end up catching multiple fish that day, with one catching five fish out of one hole in less than an hour, much to her excitement! It was such a great time watching them fight with the trout on light line (4# Frost fluorocarbon), ultralight and light action rods, and small jigs tipped with Maki Jameis and Craigis.
They were all so excited with each fish and I was happy to see so many smiles and hear all the laughter that was happening. Chatting and giving lessons to each lady, I was happy to learn a bit more about each of them and they in return learned a bit more about me. Once the fishing slowed down, we were all treated a grilled brat lunch and a couple of the fish that were kept were even cooked right there on the ice as well for all to enjoy!
This event and last years have been such a delight to do that I can only hope that the OWSD will continue to plan trips out onto the hardwater with me in the future. Some of these women had never ice fished before, but had a blast being out there, enjoying the camaraderie and catching some nice trout as well!
For them, it wasn't so much catching fish, but being outside and doing something that they normally wouldn't do if not for being a part of the organization. It's groups like this that are such a positive thing to have around, to encourage others who otherwise might not try some outdoor activities and I look forward to doing again next season and helping the group have a great time with each other and even catch some fish in the process!