The Great Canadian North

Ice Fishing in the depths of the Great Slave Lake.

Where there is winter and a frozen lake – There is winter fun and ice fishing! With winter taking up the majority of the year, you have to keep life as entertaining as possible so as to keep your blood pumping so you don’t ice over.  Although, that being said, I still love winter just as much as ever, and I don’t mind the cold at all.  Usually that is… If I am stuck outside and freezing my butt off getting frost bite, then yes, perhaps in that case I would beg to differ.  But with the proper attire, I am all game!

It was a balmy winter day, and the frozen over lake was calling our name.  Calling us straight to the fishing derby that it! It’s a little competition held annually in town on the Great Slave Lake.

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I grabbed a ticket and I was good to go! Cruising onto the lake you can see everyone’s vehicle’s parked by their little fishing shacks.

2015-03-14 001 010I had the most awesome crew of friends waiting for me at our designated hole. Having just returned from Spain, and not having been here for a winter in years, I was definitely not equipped with proper winter apparel, and I also forgot just how freaken cold it gets out on the frozen lake! Yah you could say I got a few looks when I rocked up onto the ice in my jeans, boots(not winter boots), a jacket, scarf and mitts……  It took me all of a few minutes to feel the bite of the cold, and also realize I may be a tad under dressed for the event.  I suppose seeing everyone else in their full on snow pants and parka’s may have also been a bit of a hint, or should I say brick wall!  Not always the brightest crayon in the box, absolutely one of the most entertaining though. But seriously, it’s easy to under estimate the winter deep freeze up here. Lesson learned. Well at least until the next time I end up abroad for years of warmer winter’s.

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After they were done poking fun at me for my ensemble, they wrapped me in whatever they could find to try and provide me with some warmth before hypothermia set in.

We prepped our fishing hole as any good northern fishing hole should be. Beer, beaver, rod, and hook dropped deep into the icy depths  Looks like a pro hole if you ask me.

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It was so cold that even our hole kept freezing over! Swift little kick with the ol’ boot clears that right up.

Even my beer kept freezing onto the can, and a piece of mitt fuzz. photo (1)Along with my face freezing stiff while I was trying to speak. It’s those moments where its so cold your nose starts running and your hoping its not going down your face as your skin is so cold you probably wouldn’t feel it. Hopefully though, if that happened, your friends would be so kind as to let you know. Otherwise it’s just embarrassing. 2015-03-14 001 017Need a ride anywhere cause your frozen stiff? If you did, there also happened to be that option.

With no bites in sight, the girls resorted to doing a little ice fishing chant around the hole in hopes that a fish might have jumped out and sacrificed itself. 2015-03-14 001 009 Desperate times call for desperate measures, and there was a $1500 prize to the best fish caught, so obviously you want to win!

Sadly the chant didn’t provoke any fish to get a front row seat of the show. I enjoyed it though! Speaking of desperate, I was starting to turn blue.  My blanket and what ever else I was wrapped in was not cutting it.  So a couple of my friends took me to get more appropriately suited up for the weather. photo (2)

Ok, and to grab a quick Bailey’s and Coffee.  Its best to also warm up from the inside when you are that frozen …. Not to mention it was darn delicious!

Wow, what a difference the proper clothing made! Happy days!!  I was more than ready to get back out there and catch a fish by that point. Except when we got back, a snow storm had ensued. It ended up making for the event to get cut short, as it was just ridiculously cold by that point, and the blizzardy white out wasn’t helping.2015-03-14 001 021 There was also a tuna shot, where  you take a golf club and try and shoot a can of tuna into a hole. Although it too was not really possible due to the blizzard that came in. 2015-03-14 001 023

So after all the prizes were drawn, and the one guy who actually caught a fish got his pot, we high tailed it outta there and straight to the little party shack to un-thaw and have a beer that wouldn’t tease you by turning into a block of ice before you could indulge in it. 2015-03-14 001 024 Gotta love a Canadian party shack!

photo (3) photo (4) Obviously if there is a seat with a saddle on it, you have no choice but to hop on! derby It’s not your typical ice fishing experience. However with an awesome crew, and the right clothing, it’s an epic day of endless laughter and Northern adventure. What more could you ask for?!

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