Activities don’t come much simpler than ice fishing. All you really need is a frozen lake.
Other things can help too. Some warm boots. Mittens, maybe. And of course, a fishing rod. But at its heart, the simplicity of walking out onto a frozen lake and dropping a hook into a hole in the ice is one of its pleasures.
Ice fishing tends to come with a certain image: Solitary bearded dude inside a ramshackle shack, tugging at a line leading through a hole in the ice. That’s not entirely accurate.
Try this one on instead: A group of friends, warmed by tasty spirits, laughing through an on-ice adventure led by a knowledgeable guide (who knows where the fish are!) that ends with a lunch of freshly-caught fish grilled beneath the sunny winter sky of Alberta. Now we’re talking.
Alberta has many ice fishing guides, who not only know where the fish are, but know how to cook them too. It makes for a memorable experience. In mid-winter, lake ice is so thick in parts of Alberta that roads are built into it. A guide has all the gear to walk out onto the ice and drill a hole in just the right spot.
Many guides also use modern shelters that offer respite from the cold wind and, sometimes, a cracking fire to keep things toasty. It’s like a campfire, but while wearing ice cleats on your boots.
The best part, most will say, is the chance to kick back, enjoy the company of friends in the beautiful winter environment, and the excitement of pulling lunch up through that hole. It’s time to get ready.