Corey hasn't had many days with just dad. He is #2 in the line up, with an older brother that loves to hunt and fish as much as he does. I have a hard time saying no to one, so typically they both go. But today, Tyler was headed to the Tri State Wrestling Tournament in northern Idaho, so I pulled Corey out of school for some dad time. We got some errands run early this morning and then got our ice fishing stuff together and took off.
I fished yesterday and brought home my limit of rainbows between 14 and 20 inches. The ice was thick....ish, the wind didn't blow, the fish were pretty active and I was with good company (Larry and Kyle Carpenter). We had a nice day. Larry taught me a new filleting trick and shared one with him. I brought home a load of nice, pink trout fillets and we decided we needed another day on the ice. Kim wasn't too excited about me fishing two days in a row, but consented so Corey could have a day; what a sweet mom she is.
The fishing was pretty good the first 20 minutes. Corey's rod dipped after just a few minutes and he lost a brute at the ice-hole. The head was out when the hook came free. Kyle hooked another right after that and Corey was able to land it, a nice 16 inch football of a rainbow. But the bite died shortly thereafter and we went exploring with the ice auger.
Kyle finally found some willing fish off a point. We moved down to fish with him and Corey caught another nice fish almost immediately. Kyle missed a few and I walked over to the dam to look down river. I watched a Bald Eagle circle and land in a big willow below the first good run under the dam. A few trout rose, some ducks flew by, and then I heard the yelling. I had left my rod unattended and unanchored at the edge of a hole. Corey was watching his rod when mine dove into the hole. I had taped a stand, made from welding rod, onto the handle when we first got there, and it was precariously hooked to the edge of the ice-hole, the rod was visible under the ice. Corey jumped on it, pinning it to the ice, fished the rod out of the hole and landed the fish. It was a nice 15 incher; fat and sassy. We missed a few more bites, had another rod get pulled into the hole (but this time it was hooked on a bucket), but didn't land another fish.
I had promised Kim we'd be home early to help with dinner and so we headed for home around 2:30 PM. On our way out the door this morning, I had Corey grab the .270 Winchester for coyotes. We see a lot in the area we were fishing and he hasn't killed one yet. We were making good time, headed through cow country, when I spotted a coyote hunting mice in a pasture full of cows. We turned around and headed back to the ranch we'd just passed. Two guys were out talking along the road, their trucks full of hay. I asked if my son could shoot the coyote below the house amongst the cows. I didn't really think they'd say yes, but we must have looked pretty trustworthy.