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1-29-05 - SDH layers cork rings together; time to build a grip on the lathe!

1-29-05 - Southern Ice Clave II

Waters Fished: Lake Como
Fish Caught: 1
Outing Date: 1-29-05
Weather: Cloudy
Air Temp: upper 30's
Water Temp: Frozen - 14" of ice
Water Level: Normal
Water Color: Murky as always, visibility less than 12"
Fish Species: Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, White/Yellow Bass
Pattern Fished: frozen smelt on tip ups and various flies and jigs
Pattern Color: chartruese was the only to produce
Fishing Quality: The soup was better.

After last year's "Ice Clave South", I was all excited to do it again. In preparation, I prepared 4 gallons of Red Hat's Smackdown Soup. Included was a spicy batch, modified MP style with 2 tablespoons of Frank's Hot Sauce and substituting some of the water with a 2nd beer. It was by far the best batch!

I woke up early...last year taught me a lesson about sleeping in. For some reason I don't think anyone arrived before 11:00 AM, SDH being the first one there. Sean and I were content to trade rod building tips while awaiting the arrival of other folks!

Lunchtime came around and everyone started showing up. Gumbo, Spin, MJ and Follensbee rounded out our group; soup was ready go to with hot rolls! FAT called - no dice on he and the heathen's showing up - trust me, from the way he sounded we wouldn't have even let him in the door!

Jerry, Sean and Bob look through the some fly boxes.

Enough socializing; time to fish! Jerry starts makin' holes.

Ken is content to chase the panfish...if we can only find them!

After lunch we headed out to the ice. Time to fish! Jerry, the consumate ice angler of the group, was fully prepared with the only auger to arrive (we'd've been lost without ya Jerry)! Jerry and I got busy rigging tip ups, MJ and Ken got busy jiggin. Bob decided that maybe he would come out for a while, and Sean soon found himself out on the ice.

Matt J., a Texas native who swore he'd never ice fish.

Bob has to call his father in Boca Raton Florida to brag about the fishin!

Sean holds up our only catch for today, a white (or is it a yellow) bass? FYI, the WDNR confirms it to be a Yellow Bass.

The action was poor, and there was no excuse for it either! We tried and tried; I had rigged up my jigging rod with a small chartreuse jig tipped with a fake grup - Sean took over for Matt and managed to bring a white (or yellow) bass up. FYI, the WDNR confirms it to be a Yellow Bass; more importantly they suspect they've been around all along, but something has changed in the lake that's allowing their population to increase, thus we're catching them more than before (which was none before, I've only seen reports of them being caught in the last year). Matt also had several bites.

Meanwhile, we're watching tip ups and our neighbors have a couple flags. A GOOD bass makes it up through the ice...later they bring a northern up and no sooner than it's out, it's back in the lake. Groans of disappointment were heard coming from the east as the angler rolled onto his back in defeat.

As the afternoon turned into dusk, the temperatures dropped. Jim K. had stopped by along with Leanne and Kenny...sadly Kenny wasn't doing so well and they left before most of us had even made it inside to see them! All I can say is that you guys were missed and Leanne, the food was EXCELLENT. There wasn't a single piece of bananna bread or meatballs left!

After dark, it was time for dinner, more smackdown soup. We all made our way out to the workshop where Sean took a crack at turning his first grip on a lathe. It came out really nice Sean!

Bob gets back to doing what he loves best - tying speys.

Sean also got to try his hand on my rod lathe - here's Sean's first diamond wrap.

MJ checks out Sean's wrap.

We decided to end our evening with more fly tying, eating and general fishermen BSing. We brought out FlyTrap Ron's 2004 Ice Clave box which houses flies from last year's tying sessions, including a stunning inverted dry by Travis Anderson. In what could start as a new tradition, flies were added by the folks who tied this year. Matt and Jerry also spent some time casting my recently completed 5pc. 4wt Forecast, #35. Jerry owns #15, the same rod and I remember giving him a lot of friendly ribbing as he hogged #35 from Matt (who was considering a purchase/barter of the rod). Jerry just kept on saying how much he liked #15..heck he probably sold Matt on the rod for me! All in all, I'm glad to see this rod go to Matt.

"They don't do anything small in Texas, do they Matt?" (yes, that's Matt's "mobile" tying bag). Matt also happened to leave my house as the proud new owner of #35.

Bob Brown's "Ice Clave Spey" now resides in Flytrap's box.

Goofing around trying out our picture setups, this is a Grey Heron as tied by G.G.B.

As folks slowly headed home, it was decided that a 2nd course of dinner was in order - about an hour later I arrived at the door with the best pizza you can buy; the "Garbage" Pizza from the Next Door Pub in Lake Geneva. We never did figure out what happened to Chromeseeker, Jacek and a couple other folks....you guys were missed but we had a great time just the same!

Late, Late that night around 3:30 AM, as we all slept and dreamed of spring pond trout in the morning, a picture fell from the wall, shattering the silence. Glass was everywhere...such an odd occurance. I can say, writing now over a week later, that it was a print of Norman Rockwell's "A Family Tree". I found out later in the week that one of my favorite uncles had passed away....still don't know exactly when. Spooky eh?

  MP 

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