Free snowshoes, ice fishing lessons provided during Stagecoach event |

Free snowshoes, ice fishing lessons provided during Stagecoach event

Jack Weinstein

— Erin Oliver always wanted to ice fish. On Sunday at Stagecoach Reservoir, she got her chance.

Oliver, visiting her mother, Lura Gerhart, of Steamboat Springs, from Denver, attended the Cure Your Cabin Fever day at Stagecoach Lake State Park. Park employees provided free hot chocolate and granola bars. Children rode sleds down the boat ramp. The new reservoir trail loop was groomed for skiing or snowshoeing, rentals of which were free.

And, of course, there were free lessons provided to those who wanted to learn how to ice fish.

"I can cross it off my list," Oliver said. "I had five hits, but no bites. But I still had fun on this frozen lake ice fishing."

Kimi Lehman, administrative assistant for Stagecoach Lake State Park, said Cure Your Cabin Fever was designed to get people outside to enjoy a few winter-weather activities. She said about 25 people attended the event, which was held for the first time two years ago. Lehman said conditions prevented the park from hosting the event last year.

Lehman said the park would like to host the event again next year, maybe several times during the winter.

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"It's just a fun family event," she said. "And it's relatively inexpensive. The cost of a daily parks pass is $7. For $7, free snacks, snowshoes and ice fishing, it's a pretty affordable day."

Oliver and Stagecoach resident Susan Albers learned the basics of ice fishing from Royal Anderson, who said he was asked to help out by his friend Craig Preston, the park's manager.

Anderson instructed his students to drop a line from a pole, borrowed from Anderson or Preston, to the bottom of the reservoir, 12 to 14 feet down, until there was slack in the line. From there, he told them to bounce the rod to catch the attention of the rainbow trout and northern pike swimming along the bottom of the reservoir.

Albers, also ice fishing for the first time, said she can see the reservoir from her house and there always are people ice fishing. Albers said she's thought, "What do they know that I don't?" So she decided to give it a shot.

She wasn't sure if ice fishing would become a hobby, but Albers said her curiosity was satisfied by the Cure Your Cabin Fever event.

"I think it was a really good idea," she said. "It gives people like me a chance to try something new."

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