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The Shotem' and Caughtem' Blog is the place to find the latest reviews and commentary on gear, destinations, conditions, events, and general knowledge to inform our readers and give our opinions to anyone listening.

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Friday, 01 February 2013 23:02

Ice Fishing at Pathfinder Reservoir

Recently we at ShotemandCaughtem got the opportunity to go ice fishing for the first time with some experienced ice fisherman and thought we would share the trials and tribulations of our adventure.  We traveled to Pathfinder Reservoir just outside Casper, WY.  Being a native Kansan we had never been ice fishing and felt a little out of our element, but were reassured that we had people along that knew exactly what we needed.  First were the size of the fishing poles.  The ones we pulled out of the truck almost made me laugh since they looked as if they would snap in a New York minute should they hook into a Kansas Flathead.  Then came the "pop ups" that I had never used before.  The pop up works by having a spring loaded flag so that when you get a bite the flag pops up.  Something totally different than the bells we use here in Kansas but a nice visual cue non the less.  We started by drilling 24 holes in the ice since in Wyoming you can have 6 poles per fishing license and drilled thru 10-15 inches of ice (Note:  2 gas powered augers, a total necessity, otherwise we would still be hand drilling weeks later).  Next we set up a couple of clam shelters with chairs and a heater (www.clamoutdoors.com) along with a case of beer for warmth since the temperature at the time was -10 degrees.  Finally came the fun part.....fishing.  

Our objective was to catch delicious rainbow trout.  We loaded our poles with shiners and shrimp and set our pop ups.  We thought the adventure would take some time due to the weather conditions and the fact that we would wait hours for a catfish to hit our line.  Fortunately for us the fish were active.  We still giggle at the site of one another screaming fish-on and running across the ice like deranged Sasquatches due to the 27 layers of clothes needed to stay warm.  To sum up the trip was a blast!  Even though the time it takes to get set up is a little more intense than just baiting a pole and throwing it in the water (why we tend to fish in more in warmer temperatures) we would definitely go out again.  Thanks to Fred, Dustin and Perry for making this a memorable experience and most of all for helping me land this wonderful five pound trout which we are having smoked and I can't wait to try. Let us know how a ice fishing experience went for you by posting a photo to the Caughtem Wall and starting a discussion.