Thursday, December 15, 2011

Corey Playing Hookie

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.

We made our way back along the fence, lining the coyote up with the biggest patch of cowless pasture we could.  Ol' Wiley spotted us and started to run, bounding high, looking back over his shoulder trying to decide if the afterburners were going to be necessary.  Corey's shot cut him down, flipping him end over end.  It was one heck of a shot!  We headed back to ask if we could get it out of the field for pictures and to skin, if the .270 didn't break the skin too bad.  The shot was high, the pelt ruined, but Corey was still all smiles.  Corey's first coyote was pretty sweet!  I think the best part for Corey was calling his older brother to tell him he was one-upped and behind in the count!  It will be fun evening up the score!