It’s been a lean winter for ‘ice fishing in the Meadowbrook’…
…unlike last season, when the ‘giants’ were so plentiful, I could practically ‘fish’ from my window. Hopes were raised with a recent storm that put an abundant snow cover on my roof. But Mother Nature’s tepid temps have dashed any chance of ‘landing’ a big one, now.
As I sit in the mid winter comfort of my sun porch, I’m disappointed by the rapid snow melt, rivulets of water cascading off my roof and streaming down my gutters like a Spring trout stream, ruining any opportunity for a good ‘catch’. Yet, at the same time, I feel a sense of relief and contentment.
After all, ‘ice fishing in the Meadowbrook’ is fraught with challenges and danger. ‘Casting about’ a lengthy aluminum roof rake with frozen feeling fingers, and numb toes precariously gripping the icy rungs of a metal ladder, is not a sport for the timid.
Clearing these ‘monsters’ from roof and gutters requires strength, dexterity and the fortitude to take an ‘avalanche’ of snow smack in the face. If not careful or quick enough to dodge it, the glacial barrage will catch your collar and trespass down your neck, soaking the long-johns you struggled to pull on earlier to avoid this very thing, a cold damp body.
This was my challenge last winter. Miserably chilled, I continued my quest for a trophy ‘keeper’, because that’s what a fisherman does: goes after the prize.
After working the roof and watching ‘throwaways’ slide by on their way to the ground, the elusive ‘monster’ finally appeared from behind the last snow barrier. It was the ‘big one’, the one that nearly ripped off my gutter, where it spawned and grew like an ancient stalactite.
Clearing a path with a cautious drag of the rake across snow covered shingles, the ‘catch of the season’ suddenly lurched forward and hurtled toward me like a bobsled. The extended ladder absorbed the hit and saved it from ‘getting away’. As wet, cold and slippery as it was, I wrapped my arm around it and made a triumphant but careful retreat to the ground.
A 10 pounder, maybe 20. I smiled through lips so cold and cracked, they bled. Fishing for trophies isn’t easy, ‘ice fishing in the Meadowbrook’ neighborhood is as challenging as it gets. But the bragging rights you earn are worth every frost bitten digit you can’t feel.
Now? Now, it’s trophy time!
Every season can’t be as fruitful as the winter of ’14/’15, thankfully!
dedicated to all who try to keep ice out of their gutters and survive to tell about it, we’re a hearty group