HYALITE HEAVEN!!! by Montana Grant
By angelamontana

Posted: February 23, 2024

The first thing that you notice when you get out of your truck, at the Hyalite Lake dam’ is nothing! The Silence is wonderful. No loud noises, screams, trains, interstate, just peace and quiet. Since most of Montana’s communities are along the travel arteries, there are the noises of civilization. Trains rumble along the tracks, tractor trailers roll down the interstates and aircraft take off and land. 

We get used to the noise. When the noise is gone, it screams silence and is very noticeable. Many anglers enjoy fishin, but we also enjoy the silence and solitude. At the Hyalite Lake, you don’t even get a cell phone signal. The snow makes the silence even more muffled.

I took my Son in Law Dylan, Double D, along for a day of fun ice fishing. He has really picked up the ice skills and we always have something to talk about. He also caught the first and most fish. I may need to rethink this. 

Anyway, the bite was light, slow, and without spring bobbers, invisible. We managed our limits, barely. 

Hyalite may be done for the season. Since it one of the first lakes to ice over in November, Winter is long and cold. The ice is snow covered and thick. When our recent warmer temperatures melted some high-country snows, the water flowed on top of the ice making a sloshy, slushy, wet mess. Your ice hole will be covered with a few inches of water. Landing a fish swimming on top of the ice can be tricky. 

Estivation is a process similar to Hibernation. Many critters, like trout, experience this condition. Think about what it must be like to live for a season under the ice. No light, freezing cold water, and virtually no food, hatches, or seeing food. Just Blind Luck!

When I ice fish, I try to consider this when fishing. I shovel away the snow to allow light to penetrate the ice. Thick ice limits only a little light to wake up the fish. 

Scent allows the fish to smell a snack. Glow colored scents and jigs shine a light as to where a snack may be found. Bladed, beaded, and movement send out sound vibrations to let fish know that something is nearby. 

In the end, the fish just give up, and take a nap. Skinny fish prove the point. Late February until ice out means Hyalite, and other lakes are just too damned cold to get a bite. Once the ice is gone, the buffet begins again, and these lakes are back in action. Until then, maybe ice fish lakes without snow covers, where ethe fish cam at least see your maggots, mealworms, earthworms, Jigs, and Fire corn. 

Montana Grant

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