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Who’s Crazy?

My name is Daryl.

I am an ice-fisherman.

In many circles, that makes me crazy.

Many of you know, you hear the whispers, see the looks, the rolling of the eyes, shaking of the heads.  “Normal” society judges you to be a half-bubble off level if you enjoy going out on the ice, drilling holes and catching fish.  Afterall, who likes the cold?  Must be something wrong with you if you do.

While “normal” people rejoice in mild, warm winter weather, I shout and throw stuff at the TV while the weather guy grins and tells me of above normal temperatures.

There must be something wrong with me.

Spend winters down south?  What?  I would rather head north to some of the hot ice-bites I have heard about.

Yes, I am insane.

Or am I?  This has made the rounds on the interwebs this week, many of you have already seen it.  Supposedly this guy was sane enough to be elected to office???

I am crazy?

By the way, I shared the version with the appropriate response.  Someone at that council meeting should have fallen out of their chair hysterically laughing when that mayor said that.

“Data points”?  Oh yes, it is all about the “science”.

I heard that mayor has since resigned?  Hope so, he needs to spend more time fishing.  I fear for HIS mental health.

Recently, I spent some time on the ice with my kids.  While we were drilling holes and getting started, I made this comment to them, “I do not understand people who do not ice fish.”  Seriously, it is natural for me; it is where I have always been, where I ought to be.  I wish we had ice for six months every year (then three months for spring turkey hunting and three months for fall fishing).  There are those who do not understand how I could love it, those who label me as “crazy”, I do not understand how they have never tried.

Let me illustrate. . . .

Looking through photos I took, I paused on this one:

P1070079

I remember that moment.  I have a million sunrise and sunset photos; cannot resist taking more.  Looking at that photo, for a minute I was back there. . . .

Deep in the Nebraska sandhills.  The wind always blows in those parts, but this was that moment in the evening when it finally quit.  It was dead calm.  You could feel the sunset, feel the solitude, feel the peacefulness.  It was so calm I could hear the sunset, so calm you could hear the air molecules bounce off your ear drums.  A great horned owl hooted, a rooster pheasant cackled as it went to roost; off in the distance coyotes howled.  The ice boomed.  The air was cool on my cheek, pure and fresh in my lungs.

I was there with one of my best fishing partners, doing what we love.  I cannot imagine any other place on earth where we would rather be.

You could feel the awesome magnitude of the place and our puny little presence in it.  Then there was another “burn” on the depth-finder, another bite on the line.  “Set the hook!”  Instantly, we were a part.  We belonged.

And I AM crazy.

Cannot wait to go back.

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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