The colder it is, the happier I am. The more extreme and remote the circumstances and shooting conditions are, the more geeked out I become. I sometimes think I should live in the Arctic Circle because of this. Ha!
Our Women on Ice trip to Lake of the Woods in Northern Minnesota was the perfect trip for me. Over 3 days we had a drive over the longest ice road I’ve been on (I’ve only been on the one between Bayfield and Madeline Island), -50 windchills, a blizzard, rides over miles of ice in a bombardier, stuck snowmobiles, and huge fish. The food was amazing, the friendships built were incredible, and I had the time of my life.
When people normally think of women ice fishing (people who don’t know me or these women), they think of women huddling in shacks waiting for someone else to bait their hook. Not this group – nor the majority of the women I have met through this project who have found us on social media. There are more of us then you think. (Insert evil cackle here) 😉 .
That being said, most of my time on the ice has been photographing the craziness, but on this trip, I did a little of both.
It was the first time I had been ice fishing since Jim died almost two years ago, and the first 2 days I basically hid behind my camera taking photos because I had forgotten how much I actually knew. On the 3rd day I said screw it, and started really fishing. I got a crappie on the line and completely freaked out. Every bit of knowledge I had in my brain about the process of landing a fish seemed to have seeped out my ears somehow. I have no idea why I did that… but I did. And it was the perfect group to lose my mind around. They just gave me shit about it, and then something snapped in me and I remembered what I was doing and continued to fish. On the last day. Of course.
To be perfectly honest, I have never been afraid of the ice, and I won’t ever be afraid to be on the ice. Going out on it actually is a place I love to be. The cold barreness of an icy landscape is my inspiration for much of my landscape work.
My fears about fishing were, and are, a confidence issue. Jim & I always went together, and though I know a lot (more than I thought, apparently), not having his voice bitching at me to pick up the Vexilar was a rather painful thing. Not being able to bounce ideas off of him about how to target a fish was something that scared me.
But this trip changed that. And I cannot thank this group enough for helping me get my confidence back. Join us if you can – we’d love to have you!
A HUGE thanks to our sponsors:
Sunset Lodge for their great accommodations. (And to Spenser & Dan – our guides- for hauling us around in bombadiers in crazy weather.)
Chevy Trucks for the Colorado with wifi for all of our social media needs.
Clam Outdoors for all the outdoor swag to keep us warm and catching fish.
And Keith from OutdoorsFIRST for the incredible video.
So – here is my ridiculous attempt to whittle down 3 days of adventure in to a blog post. I cannot even begin to put in to words what this trip meant to me – on many levels. I rediscovered how much I do, truly love being out on the ice, and I remembered how much I love cold weather. Especially 40 below 0 and really, really windy.
And if you want to see the larger images – check them out here: Women on Ice
The group came from all over Wisconsin and Minnesota. We met in Superior to load up the trucks to head 6 hours north to the NW Angle. We made many junk food stops along the way… and I ate way too many Cheetos in the car. Ahem.
The wonderful walleye in Baudette 😉
So there is my attempt to whittle 3 days of high wind adventure in the NW Angle into a short blog post. Such an incredible journey. Cannot wait to do it again!
See bigger photos here: Women on IceThis post may contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a portion of the purchase price. I appreciate you sharing these links - it keeps me in business!
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