Friday, January 25, 2013

Ice Fishing Lake Hopatcong Tomorrow, Looking Forward to It

23 degrees this afternoon, I was a little unsure Round Valley Reservoir would still be open water, that skim ice might cover the surface. The pond--I guess about 30 acres--on the other side of the rock dike is frozen and I'm sure is safe to ice fish, but I looked and saw no holes cut yet. Walking on rocks and gravel in really cold weather seems to be more of a pleasure than during spring and summer. Perhaps the crunch reminds me of broken ice around holes ice fishing. I always enjoy walking on a frozen lake. You can't escape the knowledge that it's water, which conditions how you feel it. Some people never get over the fear, no matter how thick the ice.
I first ice fished at age 15, introduced by an outdoor mentor 11 years my senior. He cut a couple of holes when I heard a loud crack and boom, leaping into the air frightened. He said, "The ice settles!" turned and went back to cutting a hole. I guess it took me no more than a couple of outings on the ice to feel comfortable. And pretty soon I felt I belonged out there. My whole attitude to cold weather changed. Before I ice fished, I detested cold. I celebrate by welcoming it positively since.
If you can't understand why anyone would enjoy hours on a frozen lake in bitter cold just to catch a few fish, the serenity of really knowing in my bones that I am not only fit for severe natural elements, but am happy in such conditions, is the reason I love this recreation. The motive isn't to prove anything, but be.

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