By Montana Grant

Posted: December 26, 2019

Ice Fishermen get busy during the holidays! Decorating, shopping, prepping to grill the Roast Beast for Christmas dinner, to do lists, end of the year finish, and other tasks mean less fishing time. Making many lists and checking them twice.

I was surprised to have a day open to fish. Preplanning and an empty to do list meant Time to Fish! All my buddies were not so lucky. It meant this Ice Man would need to go solo. On Ford, on Jiffy, on Shakespeare, on Mustad, time to get” Jiggy wit it!”

Hyalite Lake is close, and the weather looked great. 47 degrees at the house. It was sure to be colder in the mountains. The truck was loaded with care with hopes of big trout everywhere. The parking lot was nearly empty. With the warm temps, I expected water to be on the ice. That was not the case.

I only saw 2 other groups of fishermen. One trio was fishing a single hole with one rod. After a quick chat and some tips, they were taking turns and catching trout. The other group was enjoying the sunshine near the dam.

I cut some holes where I had a Grand Slam a few weeks ago. To repeat my success, I cut a couple holes near the bank in just a few feet of water. The rest were in pairs from shallow to deep. My deepest holes were in 25 foot of water.

The deep holes were silent as night. I had decked the holes with corn and scent, but they were not too jolly. When I moved into shallower water, it was Jingle Bells al the way! The bite was on and it was time to open the presents, one hook set at a time.

I opened my presents for 4 hours! Montana Grant was a good boy this year and Santa was generous. My sack was filling with beautiful Brook Trout from 12-15 inches and glorious Cutthroats up to 20 inches. I returned a sleigh load of smaller fish back.

Many of these trout filets will go to friends and family attached with a tasty recipe or two. Fresh trout are always a tasty treat over the holidays.

My gift was a great day spend in the high country. The silence, open spaces, fresh air, and fun recharged and energized me for the hectic holiday adventures to come.

To all, a Merry Christmas!

Montana Grant

For more Montana Grant, find him sipping eggnog at