Fishing Below Freezing
It was our first time in Colorado and the only adventure we had planned was snow boarding! During the two hour shuttle up the mountain from Denver to Breckenridge, Amanda and I were contemplating how to fit fishing into our trip. No matter what our reason for travel we always make a point to fish wherever we find ourselves. It is absolutely amazing to me, how I can have all this knowledge on how to fish saltwater reefs, wrecks, offshore, etc. and not have a single clue what I am doing when I find myself in Colorado! I got on the good ol' Google and began searching for ice fishing guides and called around until our booking was set with Randy at Alpine Fishing Adventures! The plan was to ice fish on Lake Dillon.
Click here to watch our ice fishing experience or scroll down to read about it in more detail!
The day arrives and it was already full of new experiences. Not only were we ice fishing for the first time, but we were driving on slippery roads right after a fresh snowfall. It was only 9 am and my first mistake was forgetting my sunglasses. Walking out onto the frozen Lake Dillon, I couldn't help but squint with the bright white snow shining into my eyes. "What a rookie mistake" I thought to myself. Amanda and I both should have known better. Back home, we never leave the dock without a hat, face shield, and sunglasses, yet here we were completely out of our element.
Regardless of our circumstances, we walked out onto the ice with our guide anticpating our first ice fishing experience. Randy pulled out a drilling auger and drilled two small holes into the ice. Two fishing holes, a heater, and a sonar was all we had inside of our little tent protecting us from the cold wind. We sat on buckets with miniature fishing rods and meal worms on our jigs waiting patiently for a bite. Up & down, up & down, over and over we were jigging the little rods. The one thing we both had to get used to was setting the hook! It’s a common mistake for inexperienced saltwater anglers to set the hook. I find myself always reminding people to never set the hook, just reel! But here I was going against my natural instinct.
Our first fish was a rainbow trout. The guide took the fish and tossed it in the corner of the tent right on the snow. Amanda and I both laughed! We both are used to getting fish in the boat and putting them straight into the ice box. There was no need for a cooler here!
We fished multiple spots, picking up and moving, drilling new holes, catching rainbow trout and black char! As our adventure came to an end we had a total of 8 rainbow trout ready to be cooked.
We thanked Randy for teaching us a brand new way of fishing and we were on our way. Amanda and I stopped at the grocery store to buy onions, garlic, and butter to prepare our catch. We stuffed the fish with sliced onions and pan fried it in the garlic and butter. It was unusual for us to cook a fish whole but it smelled delicious and we were excited to taste it. I will admit that after we de-boned the fish, and ate as much as we could, we found it rather challenging and filled ourselves up on mac and cheese!
All in all, Breckenridge treated us very well. We got to snowboard on fresh powder with old friends, made some new friends and had a lot of first experiences.
Captain Emily Gale