A bellyful of fish on New Year's Day

We thought we’d start the New Year off right with an ice fishing party on a lake we’d never been to but had heard good things about. Trout a foot or two long? We were on it.

 Too bad Alaska Fish and Game’s online directions to the lake were totally crappy. We were in two trucks, circling around and around the general area of the lake and couldn’t help but notice that the two roads they said would intersect most certainly did not. The lake only has one public access point. The rest of the shoreline is privately-owned. We thought we found the spot, unloaded our massive amount of stuff onto sleds, trundled them out onto the ice, drilled a hole, noticed the locals who lived along the lake were giving us funny looks, wondered aloud if we had the right lake or the wrong lake or even worse: could we be drilling into swampland instead of a lake?

One of our masterfully-loaded sleds:

That’s when we got a call from another member of the ice fishing party who was running late but had found the Right Lake but didn’t see us on it and wondered where we were. Why, we were wasting our time on the Wrong Lake, of course. Pack, pack, pack, trundle, trundle, trundle, drive, drive, drive, unpack, unpack, unpack, trundle, trundle, trundle, drill, drill, drill. It’s all part of the adventure.

And luckily once we got our lines in the water, it was fish, fish, fish, flopping, flopping, flopping.

Puppy’s first ice fishing trip — she’s leashed because the ice auger was so loud she took off running and it looked like she didn’t plan on coming back:

We gutted them, rolled them in flour and cornmeal, and cooked them up in a pan. A couple of us are on a heart healthy diet so we just used a coating of canola oil on the griddle. Tasted wonderful!

Oh, and Wrong Lake? I looked it up on Google maps in the satellite view: definitely a swamp. A big circle of barren brown land with a dot of water in the center.

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