For all the hours of waiting for fish to feed and flags to fly, ice fishing can be a pretty slow sport. Or, when everything’s going well, the day can turn quite frantic in a hurry.
But the things we see while out on the ice — and the memories that we make — are the reasons that so many folks make a point of heading onto the ice regularly.
Jonah Paris, who grew up in Falmouth and goes to school at the University of Maine in Orono, is one of those fishing fanatics, and over the past several months, he has enjoyed introducing his girlfriend, Ashley Soucy, a Dunbarton, New Hampshire native, to the sport. Paris reached out with a couple of photos that illustrated memorable times on the ice, and I’ll share those — along with some his thoughts — this morning.
Here’s what Paris had to say:
“With the start of a new semester upon us here at UMaine, it’s been a challenge to find time to sneak off and hit the hardwater,” Paris wrote in an email. “I just wanted to share a few recent pictures from some fishing trips that I have managed to fit in.
“[One photo] shows an epic sunrise I captured over Cold Stream Pond in Enfield as I was waiting for flags to fly. It was bright blue skies an hour later, and whiteout blizzard conditions 15 minutes following that … ‘Only in Maine.'”
The second photo, from the weekend of Jan. 21-22, requires a bit more backstory, and is even more special to Paris.
“I took my girlfriend, Ashley, up to the West Branch [of the Penobscot River] this summer, where she caught her first salmon (and first fish) on the fly,” Paris wrote. “She expressed interest in landing a salmon through the ice, so we headed [north] with a few of my buddies for the day.
“I set my lucky trap (identifiable by pink line) with a lively smelt, and turned my back to set the next. When I turned back around again only minutes later, the flag was up and the spool burning up,” he wrote. “I set the hook and handed the line to Ashley, and like a pro, she iced this pig! How’s that for her first salmon through the ice? She would later tell me it was well worth the 3 a.m. alarm.”
Congrats to Ashley, and thanks to Jonah for passing the tale along to the rest of us.
And if you’ve got a cool ice fishing story or photos, I’m eager to share more tales with our readers. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.