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The Ice Out of 2011

February 21, 2011

This winter has tested the limits of cabin fever in many of us. My email has been laced with evidence of readers who has expressed their desire to see the lakes open up and the ice to fade into the memory of the winter of 2010-2011.

Trying to get everything working for the first time this year

Reports started coming in last week that the ice was melting in most of the eastern lakes that were still locked in and iced over, by Friday February 18th the last of the ice was disappearing from Greenbo Lake.
Greenbo is a small state lake which receives an early stocking of Trout each year. It has become one of the events that many local anglers look forward to each year to break the boredom that winter dishes out. This year when the stocking occurred the ice was too thin to get out on and made it impossible to fish until the ice cleared or got thicker.
With the ice disappearing into the watery sponge below it creates a chance of hooking up with some of the trout, a possibility that was more than some could resist.
As I grabbed my camera and headed to the water’s edge the sun was beaming, quickly warming my face with only shirt sleeves on my arms the gift of spring didn’t seem so far away, the clear water of the lake was a welcome sight since my last visit to Cave Run found it frozen and completely inaccessible.

The Pussey Family

The walking path at the water’s edge was speckled with anglers trying to hook into one of the cold water trout that had been stocked by punching a hole in the ice and forcing them under it just a few weeks before.
Hi Guys! You catching anything? I ask, as I could see a smile creep across the face of a group of men sitting together with fishing rods lying by their sides.
Got a few! One guy rang out.. Well hold them up, so I can take a picture. One of the guys reaches down and pulled up a stringer with some trout snapped to it. I took a picture and then asked what they caught them on. I got more than one answer.. Wax worms…marshmallows’.. As it turned out this group of men were all related, Father Tim Pussey, and his sons from Flatwoods Kentucky were working on their limit. They tell me that the fishing is still a little slow, but they have been waiting to get open water to try their hand at catching some trout.

Tim Pussey holding the morning catch of trout

I worked my way on down the bank and talk to a few more people. They are all using different bait, including, corn, small spinners along with the for-mention baits, most told me that they all had a few strikes but the fishing was slow, even so, It was clear the sunny skies and thawed out water was a welcome event that they all were enjoying.
After making my rounds up and down the bank, I return to the dock where a couple of boats were returning to the dock. The first boat packed with family and pets is about to make it to the dock. I asked once again, you doing any good? I hear from the passenger side of the boat. Sure are! I found my granddaughter out there on the lake! (Followed by a healthy laugh) As it turns out the two boats are carrying the Fitch Family.
The Fitch Family including the family pets
The Fitch family owns and operates Boyd Country Marine, located just off I-64 at the 185 exit on US60. Boyd Country Marine is a full sales and service marine operation that has been in operation for the last 25 years in the Ashland area.

The Bass boat sliding into the dock area is only inches from the dock but one of the little dogs may be weighting four or five pounds decided to leap out of the boat before the boat comes to a complete stop. The little critter misses the dock edge and hits the freezing water with a splash at my feet. Mr. Fitch with a sweeping motion scoops up the water logged lap dog as it goes into a shaking fit to dry its self, after a few minutes, I’m informed by the youngest member of the family that Hidi is fine but ready for a good rub with a towel.

The second boat and rest of the Fitch family

Heading home I climb the big hill where the turn off to lodge intersects the road I’m on. I have to stop letting some deer cross the road making their way towards the lodge, one stops, and looks back at me, a post card picture I miss, but my mind slides back to the many trips I’ve made to this little piece of heaven that is here for the public to enjoy. My cabin fever is quick to change to spring fever both ailments can only be cured by the warm days of spring and beauty only nature can serve up.

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