Prime locations are located right here in Alberta

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We have all heard the saying, “it’s a guy thing.” Male bonding time is seen as an integral part of growing up and something grown men seek. During the summer, men go camping, fishing and hiking. Why should that routine change with the season? Ice fishing allows a unique way for boys to be boys and fathers to bond with their sons.

Jon Chappell, 23, and Devin Danielson, 35, have been ice fishing for as long as they can remember.

“I have done this for about 20 years,” said Chappell. “My dad taught me. It became a tradition with us, now I go with friends.”

Danielson agreed, “I remember the first time I went: I was a kid, just five years old. My dad introduced me to the sport. We would go all of the time.

“I have such good memories with my dad. Packing up the truck and going for the day.”

ice fishing

Ice fishing can be a great activity to do alone or with others.
Photo by: Ashley Tymko

Ice fishing is also something that Steve Dawson, 47, cherishes, “I am from Winnipeg, Manitoba and I used to go all of the time with my dad and grandpa. We moved to Calgary 10 years ago. Now, once a year my son and I fly out for a “man-ly” reunion with all the men in our family to ice fish.

“We have a cottage out there so we stay for a week. The days are full of fishing and the nights are full of alcohol and card playing. It is a great excuse to get the men in the family together once a year,” said Dawson.

He added that he hopes his son continues the tradition. “I know he enjoys it, and it is a good way to get away from the world. You feel raw. You catch your breakfast, lunch and dinner most of the time, it’s a good feeling.”

Danielson continued, “I mostly go now because it is a great thing to do with my friends. We relax, have a few beers and hopefully catch something.”

“It is something different from skiing or snowboarding in the winter and much cheaper.”

Chappell said enthusiastically, “It’s an addicting sport. It’s something to do during the winter outside.”

Danielson said there are many places to fish around Calgary. “We go to Spray Lake, located outside Red Deer, Sylvan Lake or Little Fish Lake near the Drumheller badlands.

“It is something different from skiing or snowboarding in the winter and much cheaper.”
—David Danielson, ice fishing enthusiast

“They are close, so if you are short on time you can just drive up there for the day and be home by dinnertime. I try to get out there about 20 to 30 times a year depending on how harsh a winter we have.”

Chappell said that anyone could do it, “Honestly, it is such a pure sport. You are alone with your guys, sometimes in the middle of nowhere, just enjoying each other and nature.”

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