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Friends Visit: Tough Times in the Winter Doldrums

Our friends from East River (most of us South Dakotans refer to where we live on either side of the Missouri River as either "West River" or "East River") came up for another ice fishing trip recently and, while the fishing has been tough, I was still hopeful that we could get on some fish.

Well the first morning we swung for the fences and tried going after Lake Trout on Pactola Reservior. It was a swing and a miss since we didn't mark a fish, but we only had a few hours to fish since I had to get back for a birthday party followed by a seminar I was presenting at the outdoor sports show here in Rapid City. With some more time on Sunday, I felt that we should be able to get on some rainbow action up at Deerfield.

The action on Deerfield was only slightly better. At first, Chad and I managed to catch some rainbows, but as in seasons past, the bigger ones seemed to have moved on. Both he, Kelly, and I caught some fish, which was the most important part of the trip, since I wanted them to at least have not made the five-hour trip in vain for the weekend. We were still in the doldrums though, no doubt about that. We did get some other entertainment, however.

Kelly had fallen asleep sitting in my Clam Outdoors C-560 Thermal hub. Not hard to do when it's toasty warm inside on an early morning and the bite is slow. She'd fallen asleep with her line and lure still in the water. Had I thought quicker on my feet, I could have made this even better, but hindsight being what it is now, I shook her arm to wake her up.

Her eyes opened wide and she instantly set the hook.........on nothing! She about jerked the lure clear out of the hole! We both had a very good laugh at that. Had I thought about it, I should've grabbed the line where her pole was at and given it a good tug to make it even funnier, but alas. Next time, I'll really make her set the hook! Hopefully the laughs will continue if they visit next ice season and the fish will be more cooperative.

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