As the hardwater season is ending very quickly here in the Hills, I look back on the season with many fond memories of new friends and memories that were made. This season was one of my busiest yet, with multiple group outings planned or events that took place.
The one thing that is always important, besides if fish were caught (which they were on every trip), is the fun that was had by those who I took out. When you're having fun on the water, it doesn't even really matter if the fish are biting or what size they were, especially if it was the first trip onto the ice.
One trip that was memorable was one I took with a friend of mine, Ryan, and his two little boys up near Iron Creek Lake. He also invited a work friend of his along for the trip, Lisa, who brought her son out with her as well.
It was their first time on the ice, and I arranged for us to meet up with another friend of mine who knew the lake better and had been catching some decent fish most of the season. With first-timers, the pressure is always on to try to put them on some fish and make sure they are having a good day so that they will want to do it again.
After we arrived and met up with Aaron and his daughter, we followed him to the spot and started drilling. I had Lisa drill her first ice hole with the K-drill/Clam plate combo and she was smiling the whole time which always something you like to see. I showed her and her boy how to read a Vexilar screen, how to watch for their lure and fish, and some jigging techniques to bring the fish in.
The fishing itself left much to be desired. We didn't get on any schools of perch or find a wandering rainbow or several as I had hoped, but Ryan and his boys caught a few perch and Lisa pulled up her first iced fish, which she posed with proudly, smiling the biggest smile.
It didn't matter what size it was, all that mattered was she was enjoying the nice sunny day on the ice and having a new experience. She loves to fly fish and offered to help me learn the craft better, which I will certainly take her up on since I haven't done it in several years but won't say no to having someone teach me how to do it properly.
Trips like these are always good lessons on the bigger picture. It doesn't matter if the fishing itself isn't so hot, but if everyone is having fun, then it's a memorable trip. I'll be looking forward to next season's outings and making some more memorable experiences for sure.