March 19, 2015

Hebgen Lake Ice Fishing (Late Feb)

With the warm weather Utah has had this year, ice fishing options were at a minimum. Because of this and work as of late, I thought I wouldn't make it out this year. That's when my friend Rob called up and invited me to join him and his boy on a quick weekend road trip to fish Hebgen Lake in Montana.
We headed out Thursday after work and arrived at our cabin at Kirkwood resort after a five hour drive. We awoke the next morning to -3 degrees; a far cry to Utah's temps this year. They also had several feet of snow. We did a quick set up on the ice just to get fishing. The ice shacks could wait. We had the task of getting through 24 inches of ice with a hand auger. I guess I can say I've worked out this year now. The fishing was slow, but the fish we did land were all quality fish. I had one break me off the first day, and I lost one the second, and that's the only action I got the whole trip. Matt out-fished his Dad by a few fish (he always catches the most when he comes with us). Even though the fishing was slow, it was so nice to finally get out on the ice.
We were only 15 miles away from West Yellowstone, so we headed there to get some dinner. It was a sound plan until we got there and realized a lot of places were closed for the season (despite the snowmobile crowd). After our first several choices were closed, we settled on a pizza joint that turned out to have some pretty good pizza.
We headed home early the second day due to the high winds making it near impossible it fish. on the way down the canyon, we got to stop and watch a herd of Big Horn Sheep just off the road. It's the largest herd we had ever seen, especially that close. It was a great trip, and we plan to do it again, only earlier in the season this time.
Quick setup on a cold morning.

Two feet of ice and a hand auger... Not it!

I thought it wasn't going to end!

Was I out fished? Ya, you could say that...

A group of Big horn Sheep right off the road on the way home.

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