In a recent interview by Terry Scoville of the Women's Hunting Journal , I was asked a very challenging question pertaining to how I best introduce my girls to the world of hunting and fishing. It's not easy to do this especially when my girls are 4 and 2, but I can attest to one major factor when it comes to getting our next generation turned on to this traditional lifestyle. We must get our youngsters outdoors and within that scope, be sure to participate at their level. Talk to them about what you plan to do with the fish, catch & release or give your fish to the grandparents. Foster a discussion about that the time is special and if you do not find good fortunes, then there will always be another time. Show excitement that can not be trumped, this day is a pair of aces in your hand and nothing can beat it.
I finally got a pleasant day for some ice fishing. The temperature found itself in the mid-30's and there was little if any wind. My oldest daughter and I left home around 9:00 a.m. for the one half hour trip to one of my favorite brook trout lakes. We picked up all the necessary provisions such as doughnuts, chips, cookies, and well, you get the picture. There was no way any fruit was on this trip!!!
Once we hit the landing, the gear quickly moved to two sleds for a two thousand feet trek and with my little beauty in one of them, I plowed through some snow drifts and broke the top layer more times than I wished to count. However, we managed to get to my spot without a hitch and quickly started drilling a few holes. In no time, we put the traps in and set up my portable ice shack. Soon thereafter, we dove into the goodies and witnessed our first flag. I then knew that today was going to be special.
Within about two hours time, we managed four trout (the legal limit for this lake) and then spent some time making snow angels, snow mountains, and a little high speed sledding with daddy as the horsepower. My little girl smiled the entire time, it didn't matter if it was the first brook trout she caught or just sitting next to me in the shack. Her day seemed every bit as special as mine.
So if you are wondering about the future participation of a 4 year old in terms of ice fishing, I'm pleased to announce that I better ask her the next time I plan on going. With that said, the very next day of good weather will promise another venture. But I think maybe I'll bring my youngest as well, her older sister said she'd show how it's done!!!
Here's a few pictures of our success and I am so thrilled that we were blessed with one special day.