Easter ice fishing

My family have been at me cabin for a week over Easter but unfortunately I was not well enough to go with them.  Really disappointed because they had a Bear visiting the cabin each night and I could have got some nice pictures!!

I spent Easter at home, but did get out to do a bit of ice fishing, though I caught nothing!!

kevin_warrington_ice_fishing

It was really warm in the sunshine, but there was a cold north wind blowing

pulka on ice

Of course I made fire to cook coffee

fire on ice

and grill sausage

grilling sausage on ice (Large)

During the weekend I saw the first Common Cranes of the year, Rough-legged Buzzard and Pine Grosbeak.

pine grosbeak-4 pine grosbeak-3

Another spell of bad luck

I wrote recently about the problem I had had with a Toyota Avensis that I bought http://naturallore.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/toyota-avensis-warning/.

I then bought a Nissan Primera, but a couple times the car would not start.  When I took the car to a Nissan garage they found a problem with the key, but also found that the cam-chain needed changing and that the top head gasket was damaged and coolant had leaked into the engine!!  Eventually I got my money back from the garage where I bought the car, but now I ahve no car!!

Last week I went to see a doctor and he told me that I have a hernia and that I must have an operation in the next few weeks.  This means I will not be able to do anything for 2 – 4 weeks, including driving my snowmobile, ice fishing, skiing and holding Kelly!!

I did manage to get out last Sunday and spend a couple of hours ice fishing.  I caught a nice sized Rainbow Trout.

rainbow trout 2014 (Large)

First ice fishing trip of 2014

Last Saturday myself and Emma took our first trip out on the snowmobile to do some ice fishing.

Unfortunately O got the snowmobile stuck in deep snow and after thirty minutes trying to dig it out, it was still stuck fast.  Fortunately 5 guys on snowmobiles stopped to help me and the six of us eventually managed to get the snowmobile out.

We fished for two hours and had several bites and twice fish took our worm from the hook but we caught nothing!!

ice fishing 2014

Out fishing with tourists

I haven’t written much about my job on here.  Last week we had a group of German tourists who spent the day ice fishing with us.

DSC_0019 (Large)

Each person hired a small rucksack with a ice fishing rod, an ice scoop, a plastic plate and a cup inside.

DSC_0018 (Large)

We also made fire and cooked coffee and grilled sausage.

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Everyone had a great day!

Testing a new ice fishing rod/reel

Today I have been out ice fishing (surprise surprise!).  I wasn’t just using my reindeer horn ice fishing rod, I was also testing a new ice fishing reel/rod that I have made using an old snuff container, which I call “The pocket fishing kit” (will be writing a tutorial to make this next time).

pocket fishing kit

The snuff container has a winder on the back to reel in or out the fishing line.

snuff container fishing rod

But did I catch anything……….?

Of course I did!!  I caught a nice Arctic Char with it and a Rainbow Trout and Arctic Char with my Reindeer horn rod.

arctic char

To cook coffee on the lake, I made a Swedish Fire Torch using four pieces of Birch.

swedish fire torch naturallore

The fire burns between the four pieces and your cooking pot is placed on top.

swedish fire torch kevin warrington

Once you have finished cooking, separate the four pieces and lay them down to stop the fire burning, and when you want to cook again, stand them up and start the fire again.

stopping fire torch burning

A snowmobile can’t swim!!

I had planned to take the family ice-fishing today, and because we have had a lot of snow recently I decided to drive the snowmobile to the lake yesterday afternoon to create a path to drive on.  Emma wanted to come with me so we headed out at about 3pm.

It was 10kms to the lake and it wasn’t so difficult driving conditions as I had anticipated.  When we arrived at the lake, I left Emma at the side of the lake and decided to drive around the lake to press down the snow.  As I drove out onto the lake it became obvious that there was quite a bit of water laying between the snow and ice.  As I tried to turn the snowmobile around it broke through the ice!!

The skis at the front of the machine were still on snow and ice, but the track that drives the machine was in a half metre of water.  I do not have any winter waterproof boots, only insulated leather boots, so when I climbed from the snowmobile into a half metre of water, my feet got very wet.

Fortunately there was double ice on the lake and the snowmobile had only broken through the top layer, but when I tried to drive the machine out, it would no move!

I walked through freezing water and up to where I had left Emma in the forest (it was now starting to get dark).   I explained what had happened and was sure she would start to cry (she is 6 years old), but instead she said “Ok, I will dig a hole in the snow and collect wood so we can make fire”.  I was so amazed and pleased with her response.

I walked back to the snowmobile and called a friend to ask advice on how to get the machine out.  He said that I would need to collect a lot of branches to put under the front of the snowmobile to drive on and then lift the back of the snowmobile up onto the ice (this I could not do).  I then called another friend and asked if he could come out and collect Emma because I was worried that she would be scared.

I returned to the forest to collect branches and help Emma make fire.   She had dug down into the snow with her hands and prepared the fire sight.    It did not take long to get a fire going.

fire in the forest

I told Emma that someone was coming to collect her, but she said she was not scared or worried, because she felt safe with me in the forest and was sure I would get the snowmobile out of the lake.

I left Emma to keep the fire going and returned to the lake with the branches.  I started the snowmobile and found that I could drive it backwards a little.  Then I laid down the branches and standing at the side of the snowmobile I tried to drive it forward.  The machine moved about a metre and then stopped because of snow collecting at the front of the machine.  I put on my snowshoes and pressed down a path in the snow where I could drive the snowmobile.  I  removed the snowshoes (by now my feet were freezing cold) reversed the snowmobile again and then drove it forwards.  It started to move and the back rose up out of the water and as I walked at the side of the machine it continued to move.  Just as my friend arrived I jumped onto the snowmobile and drove it onto the edge of the lake (I was so embarrassed that he had driven so far for nothing!!).

I picked up Emma and we drove home.  It was 6pm when we arrived home.

Due to the conditions on the lake, my family did not want to fish today, so I went there with my neighbour again.

ice fishing kevin warrington

We also made fire and cooked reindeer meat and coffee.

arctic lunch

I caught one Arctic Char and Folke caught three.  We left the snowmobiles at the edge of the lake!!

P1010393 (Medium)

Testing my reindeer horn ice fishing rod

On Saturday I went ice fishing with my neighbour Folke.  The snow is very deep and it was not easy to travel with snowmobiles.

folke with snowmobile

It was 12kms to the lake where we intended to fish and once we arrived there we started boring holes in the ice to fish through.

ice fishing

After only a few minutes of fishing (using a worm and a piece of shrimp for bait) Folke caught an Arctic Char!

arctic char

I was fishing with my Reindeer horn fishing rod

fishing with reindeer horn rod

It took a little longer for me to catch my first fish; a Rainbow Trout

trout and reindeer horn rod

We made fire and cooked some coffee

coffee break

We then continued fishing.  Folke caught 2 Arctic Char and I caught 2 Rainbow Trout and 1 Arctic Char.

days catch

Reindeer horn ice fishing rod

This will be my last post for a week or so as I am heading off to England for a few days (weather in England permitting).

I had the idea to make an ice fishing rod out of Reindeer horn, and after searching through my pile of horn, I found the ideal piece.  Having cut off the two ends of the horn, this is what I was left with

reindeer horn ice fishing rod natural lore

After a couple of hours work, this is how it looks now

naturallore horn ice fishing rod

I have started doing some basic engraving on the handle

horn ice fishing rod kevin warrington

I will be testing it when I return from England!

Homemade ice fishing rod

I decided to try making an ice fishing rod.  This is just a prototype and if it works well, I will improve the design.

homemade ice fishing rod

The rod itself is a piece of Willow (Salix).

The handle I have made by glueing together pieces of Birch bark onto the Willow rod.

pimpelspö

The eyelet at the end of the rod I have made from a piece of reindeer horn, which I have then lashed to the rod.

ice fishing rod antler eyelet

For the “reel” I have made two pins from reindeer horn and drilled the rod and inserted the pins in.  The fishing line then wraps around between the two pins.

homemade ice fishing rod reel

I have not had the chance to try out yet, but will let you know how it goes!