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When I finally got on the ice this winter, a big wave washed over me.  It rolled down from the sandhills onto the lake shore, and then flowed out onto the ice.

As I was immersed, I thought of something I wrote years ago:

All of those memories and more come flooding over me every time I walk onto sandhills ice.  There is just something about that place that washes over me.  I still get excited at the thought of fishing there, especially ice-fishing.  Jittery trying to get there as fast as I can.  Somewhere in those acres of water, weed beds, and bulrushes swim some of the prettiest fish on earth.  Somewhere underneath that ice is the biggest bluegill I have ever seen and one of these days I am going to catch it!

There is something about those hills, those unique, glorious sandhills, ridge after ridge as far as you can see.  It is the smell, the quiet, the solitude, the wind on my face, the cool air in my lungs.  When I finally get there, it just oozes into me.  I breath it, feel it, taste it, hear it, smell it.  When I finally get the holes drilled and the first lines baited and dropped in the water, I sit down on my bucket and suddenly I am just entirely relaxed.  “Ah”, a big exhale.  A glance at the bobbers.

Everything is right in the world because I am finally . . . HOME AGAIN.

Now, where are those big bluegills?

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About daryl bauer

Daryl is a lifelong resident of Nebraska (except for a couple of years spent going to graduate school in South Dakota). He has been employed as a fisheries biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for 25 years, and his current tour of duty is as the fisheries outreach program manager. Daryl loves to share his educational knowledge and is an avid multi-species angler. He holds more than 120 Nebraska Master Angler Awards for 14 different species and holds more than 30 In-Fisherman Master Angler Awards for eight different species. He loves to talk fishing and answer questions about fishing in Nebraska, be sure to check out his blog at outdoornebraska.org.

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