Saturday, January 7, 2012


Last October I tagged along with the family fishermen as official photographer.  I finally determined to accompany them again mostly because I wanted to take photos of their friend Charley the Eagle. See the guys' photos of him coming in to grab a fish here. 

For some reason the fishermen swear fishing is best 
just as the sun rises over this piece of Siberia in Montana.

First order of business is drilling holes through three feet of solid lake.

Then while I gawk in wonder at the fearsome beauty of the place…

 Beavis, DH and their friend, Kent, set up to bag that trophy trout.

 Then the excitement begins.  Wow.

 Okay, I admit another reason I went along was to try out 
the snowshoes I purchased at a super price on Ebay.

 I wandered around and saw lots and lots of coyote tracks...

Fantastic ice formations…

And wait!  Who is sitting over on that pole waiting for his free breakfast?
Charlie!  Hot Dang! Don’t go anywhere big guy.
 I’m coming to take your closeup!

 You can tell he was thrilled to see me.

 So much so that when I got within getting a good photo, 
he dropped his payload…

…and flew away in a blur. Nuts!

 Meanwhile, back at excitement city, something was happening. 

DH had hooked a fish and Beavis was ready with the gaff to bring it in.
  (Secretly I hoped it was a trash fish that they would toss out for Charley to eat).

 It was a big beautiful rainbow trout.


 That was about the only action for a long, cold time.  
So Beavis gathered up gear and moved to a more promising spot far away.  
He phoned me when he got a fish on the line.  So I followed.

But Wait!  There’s Charley over there on a fence post.  
Don’t move.  I’m coming as fast as these snowshoes will go.


 Beavis did indeed have a very fine fish.  
But not one he was willing to feed the eagle.

  Alas it wasn’t a day to catch many fish of any kind.  
So I had to be content with my few blurry photos of a bald eagle 
and plenty of astounding scenery.

 Even though I tried to keep moving to keep my body temperature up, I still started to freeze solid.  Although; my fancy glove liners and these hand warmers which gave off heat through some kind of chemical reaction, made it possible for me to take photos even in those arctic conditions.

 Conclusion:  Ice fishermen are insane but I do love the flavor of fresh trout.


Buttons said...

Ice fishermen are crazy and I love trout too. Hey those shots are fabulous. I wish I was there I am so jealous OK only about the snowshoeing, the snow, the eagle and well everything except the cold. We have NO snow I think my snowshoe days may be done before they even start. Great post. Thanks for sharing. Hope the fish was good. B

Jeannelle said...

Great shots of Charlie! And, fun to see how the ice fishing is done. Were they fishing with my husband's brother?? His name is Kent and he lives in Montana!

Leenie said...

Jeanelle. Nope, probably not your brother. This Kent lives nearby here in Idaho.

TexWisGirl said...

how cool to have good fish caught, but even more impressive to see and photograph the eagle!!!

Sarah said...

What a trip! And your photos are not blurry! A shame you couldn't get Charley a snack though, to entie him a bit nearer to your lens. I saw videos on youtube last year of ice fishermen with proper huts above their holes. They were fishing at night though so I suppose it would be even more freezing.
Glad you enjoyed my photos. It is great that you can see those which seem quite normal to me, and I can see yours which seem most exotic to me!

Debbie said... tell a great fish story!!

nice photo's of the impressive eagle!! i do think he was playing with you!!

Alica said...

Your photos of that eagle are great...he's gorgeous! My dad wants to learn to ice fish, but that's not gonna happen around here! I don't enjoy the cold enough to ever experience those things that look so interesting! :(

Jill said...

I'm here from Buttons and am your newest follower. You've got a great blog.

Jill said...

Well...I want to become a follower but darn if I can find where to do so here. I'm sorry!

Pam said...

Now that's something that's never going to happen here in Australia -so from my viewpoint absolutely fascinating! Thanks for sharing the experience and with such wonderful pics.

Leenie said...

Okay, I put a follower gadget on my blog. Sorry, sorry. ;)

I guess after four years it's about time.

CarrieBoo said...

Tremendous post! I feel like I was right there with you, only much warmer. You got to use the snowshoes... yay! Did they catch any ice wine? ;)

TALON said...

Yum on the rainbow trout - one of my absolute favorites! Those are some awesome eagle shots, Leenie! Years back, we used to live on a lake up north and loved watching the ice fishers. Dedicated bunch :)

Terry and Linda said...

WOW! Great eagle shots! You are so right...getting close enough is hard, but YOU DID IT!


Linda Sue said...

Hey Neener- you are such a good sport! The ice fishers are insane.
Love your shots of the magnificent raptor who pooped when you got too close- I do that, too.
Beautiful country- cold stuff!

Mama Zen said...

Fantastic pictures! I would love to try ice fishing.

Far Side of Fifty said...

What fun! I enjoyed your photos especially that one trout fresh out of the water..beautiful! :)