The Ice Shack

“The title sounds like a building where ice is stored”, but it really means a small shack that is used for ice fishing. “It may have inspired the first tiny home“, which is now a new trend for some. The reason I compare an ice shank to a tiny home, is the conveniences that some owners of ice shacks will install in their custom builds. This might be TV’s, Stereo Systems and other things to create the perfect getaway. Of course, the ice shack floor may have a few holes in it, unlike a tiny home would, and an oversized wood stove for those sub-zero days on the lake.

The Ghost Reservoir

The place where I have ice fished the most, and some would say too much, is the Ghost Lake or reservoir. Many an hour has been spent looking down a hole in the ice, contemplating life in general, and trying to avoid any bad thoughts about everyday life. This is fishing at its most dedicated, and if you don’t have an ice shack or some type of heater, your a real keener. Some enjoy facing the elements, by having the right clothing and keeping the wind to their backs. I have been there and it can be very uncomfortable. Nowadays, I have a small foldup, on a chair, for those nice days.

A memory of ice fishing with an ice shack.

Ice fishing is definitely a form of escape. A place far from four walls and a TV, and come to think of it, some are escaping other things that we won’t discuss. I just know that it is a very peaceful type of recreation that I have loved to do, over the years. The sound of a hand cranked ice auger is still a comforting sound to my ears these days, in the early hours before first light. The annoying pitch of power augers usually means that someone is moving in on your favorite spot. The sounds of solitude and a single hole in the ice, is often much more rewarding than having twenty new holes to choose from, if you really want to relax and enjoy the day.

By the time the guy with the power auger is finished drilling too many holes in the ice, the trout have long since retreated from the area! Oh well, this is just part of the experience these days, and you wouldn’t want to convey your own personal thoughts to the guy that is now by the way, fishing only a few feet away. This can happen to you, just try not to yelp and holler too loud, when you catch a fish. The queiter approach will help in your quest for solitude.

The Lake Whitefish was a common occupant of the Ghost Reservoir, west of Calgary. Sketch was done by Guy Woods.

Eventually, the fish in the Ghost Reservoir get nearly fished out. Fished Out; This is a term that means that almost all of the fish have been caught by anglers. Then the serenity of the lake starts to become more peaceful again. Thus the cycle begins again, the trout and whitefish populations may slowly start to recover again. This seems to be how we manage our fisheries these days.

This is a lake Whitefish in the cover of weeds.

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