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Column: Diving for Fish

I'm honestly not sure which hit the icy water first - the fish or my husband.

The line snapped just as the Northern was coming up out of the ice hole. Within a second, my husband dove after the fish, his body crashing on the floor of the fish house while his right arm submerged completely in the icy lake.

He had the fish in his hand and they wrestled for a good 30 seconds before the Northern wriggled away and dove back into the lake.

Though that was entertaining, it was nothing like watching the face of Mony Paparkun, the foreign exchange student from Thailand who was fishing with us for the first time. In that minute, her face went from excited, to shocked, to worried.

Friday's fishing trip had already offered Mony a few surprises.

After Thursday night's ice storm, the parking lot at the Rush Lake access was so slick it was hard to walk; yet the ice on the lake near our fish house was slushy.

In fact, Mony was surprised to see a fish house at all. She had pictured the five of us huddled around a hole on the lake with poles in our hands, a roaring fire nearby.

But I think the biggest surprise was my husband's dive. Mostly because it seemed to bring some truth to what she was sure was playful teasing from her host parents, Liz and Wes Foley.

Prior to the fishing trip, the Foley's would tease Mony, saying that they would hold her feet when it was her turn to dive in for a fish. And though my husband knew nothing of the teasing, he had demonstrated exactly what they were talking about.

As my husband stood up from the floor after the fish got away, he was mumbling about how he knows he could have had it if he could have used both hands. But he couldn't use both hands because his head would have gone under water.

It probably didn't help Mony's worries when the rest of us told my husband: "You could have had it if you used both hands? You should have used both hands, then! Sheesh, take one for the team!"