Ice – an unpredictable element

This year’s (2014) spring has arrived earlier than usual to Lapland. As I last year in May could go ice-fishing around Rovaniemi, this year the ices are not all reliable and safe any more here in the south of Lapland. A warning is actual for entering ices, especially on the rivers where there is streaming water. Easter has for many years been the season when the outdoor temperatures allow you to really enjoy ice-fishing in the sun without getting cold. This year’s Easter was late (April 18-21) and due to the small amount of snow still on the ground the week before Easter here in the Rovaniemi region, the sun melted the snow on the lakes already before Easter. It became slippery to move on the ice and snowmobiles had difficulties to get the grip to move forward. The ground and ices are almost snow free now. But still, I plan an ice-fishing expedition to the upper-North this week, to get the last big portion of ice-fishing this winter.The ices up north are still nearly 90 cm thick. I’ll tell you more about that in my next post.

In the newspapers these last weeks you could have read about accidents with snowmobiles that have sunk through the ice with drivers and passengers. You should definitely equip yourself with ice-peaks now, as you do in the autumn in the beginning of winter. With them you could have a fair chance to get up onto the ice again if you sink through the ice. These are mine.

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If the ice is thick enough for a man, but not for a snowmobile, one way of moving on the ice is to go by skis. In Lapland the lakes could have fairly thick ice even if there is no snow on the ground anymore. Skis also give you possibilities to enter even thinner ice than it would be possible for you to do by foot, because your weight is spread all over the skis, so every inch is lighter when you go on your skis. You should always test the thickness of the ice with your sticks to be sure the ice is durable enough. If you still are uncertain you should stop now and then and drill a hole in the ice to measure the thickness.

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In early spring time it is a profitable time to ice-fish trout and white fish in the lakes. This year so far I did not get much white fish, but I expect more of them in the north. Winter net-fishing period is over now due to the unpredictable ices, but as the trout swim in low waters in the spring the time to catch trout is most profitable at this time of the year. Just before we ended the net-fishing we managed to get a nice 2 kilo trout in the net.

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The red-eyed roach is easy to catch in the spring when ice-fishing, but you really do not eat them. There are a lot of them so they are popular for children to catch. The children will not get bored when ice-fishing.

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The nature wakes up in April-May and emigrating birds return to Lapland and the fells. The trees also wake up and you can read about how you can take advantage of the trees in the spring time in my post Lapland – the land of eight seasons. 

The dried reindeer meat is also ready to eat by now, as the days have been sunny for a while already.

As the ices melt the seabirds arrive in Lapland. First arriving are usually the swans. They really do not need much of open water to settle down. After that they spend the days searching for something to eat from the bottom or just relax on the ice.

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I suffer from sea-sickness if I go fishing in the open sea, therefore ice-fishing is suitable for me, as I love fishing. During the summer I have to figure out something else to do as I do no fishing then. Picking berries or taking care of my garden are hobbies for me in the summer time.

h&m