Saturday, November 14, 2009


Life usually brings a lot of discomfort all by itself, and most folks try to avoid as much of that pain as possible.
Then there are those who put themselves out there knowing it will hurt, and sometimes hurt real badly.
I really don't particularly enjoy the pain of trying to thaw out frozen hands and toes. Those little finnies don't look much like they should be able to muster all that pain, since they don't appear to be damaged much.
Never assume that those little things will thaw peacefully.
I have shed many tears while trying to get some warmth and circulation back into those critters.
I suppose that most folks would at least TRY to keep the things warm enough to avoid the displeasure, but I have never been lucky enough to avoid the problem.
No normal folks would consider going out on a windy lake when the temperature was 5 above zero. No normal folks would EVEN think of going fishing when it's that cold.
The only reason the lake was not frozen over was the gale blowing down the lake, keeping the water moving enough to not freeze. Most of the low-land lakes were frozen over, but this high mountain lake was still open and begging for some fools to fish it.
On November 4th, my nephew, Frank, Lin and I put a boat on Cooper Lake, high in the mountains above Kenai Lake.
Cooper Lake always blesses us with some of the finest Arctic Char and Rainbow trout. It also has a hybrid mixture of the two, which are Char-bows.
The lake is deep and the water is clear and moving. Not stagnant like other lakes. The rivers drain into the lake and out the other end near the big dam.
Most people don't catch much when they fish there, but we have figured out how to fish the lake and we always limit out quickly.
The only smart thing we done was take along a little Buddy heater. I never spent much time in the cab of the boat because the fish were biting so fast that I had to hold my pole to keep it from being jerked into the lake.
Lin also stayed out in the cold wind and managed to beat me at fishing once again. It was because I had to bait her hook and my fingers stayed frozen beyond feeling.
My reel also froze up and was very hard to get the thing to turn.
During such a fishing frenzy one seldom realizes just how cold the old nose, feet, and hands can get.
The lake is in steep snow covered mountains. The sun only shines there for a couple of hours a day, and since we got there late, the shadows were already on the water. It is one of the most beautiful lakes on earth, and one of the coldest in the winter.
We all knew it was not going to be very pleasant, but it would be the last trip of the Fall before freeze up. Not going was not even an option.
Yeah, I knew it was going to hurt, but this time it was special.
I did managed to drive back home, but my hands and feet kept me in tears the whole way back home.
The fishing was more than great; the scenery was more than breath taking; and the pain won't soon be forgotten.
I guess it was a trade off of a sort. Having said all of that, ice fishing will be starting in a few weeks. By then I won't remember the pain, and I guess I'll have to learn the "pain lesson" all over again.
Without a little pain, there would be no adventure. Life without adventures wouldn't be worth living. Strange, Huh??