I was in my chest waders again this morning. I used the Christmas present to myself, in yet another way! I waded into an ice covered lake and chopped a path from the shore to deeper water. My ice cut was a work in progress when I saw a couple of fellow die hard fisher people on the north bank. My hands were cold and my gloves wet from lifting slabs of ice out of the water. So I took a rest, turned around and waded back to shore. I stood there blowing on my hands and surveyed my effort. I hoped to double the space I had cleared in another half an hour. Standing on the shore I noticed only the woman on the north shore. I looked for the man; soon he emerged from the clump of ice covered willow close to me. When he came closer I said hello. What’s you name he asked. Terry Martin I replied. I’m John Shellman he replied. Is Debbie with you today, I asked; she told me she would be at the lake today for the urban trout harvest. Yes she is, John replied. I said something like “hope you catch some or good luck”, before I waded back into the water to cut more ice. John walked on, but I kept an eye on him as he looked for a place to possibly fish. He had a concrete block tied to a rope that he would use to break ice. I decided to invite John and Debbie to share my ever expanding hole in the ice. John seemed pleased and said he would get Debbie. Now I needed to make the place big enough for three to fish so I went back to work. By the time I was in need of another rest, John was ready to cast onto the ice and slowly reel his bait back until the bait fell into the water at the edge of the ice. It was a celebration when the work of ice cutting paid off quickly. John brought in a nice rainbow trout! We had so much fun and John, Debbie and Terry succeeded with limits of trout. I probably grossed them out with blood on both hands; Debbie said I had the red war paint look. Somehow I got it on my face, probably wiping ice cycles from my nose and beard. We laughed and I remembered “tribal fishing with brother Wen.” They could tell I was happy and committed to the objective – trout for the smoker! We all caught fish and it was one of those days that make life so good! I really thought at 4:00 AM when I saw the freezing drizzle I would not be able to drive less than a mile to the lake so close to home for the annual urban trout harvest on the first day of the season, but life is good with friends and surprises to keep us looking forward to every day!