Is the stick still available?
I go on a camping trip with a couple of family members every year in February. The first year we went, Dad got a 102 degree fever and an awful cold, he slept through most of the trip, and when we did get to fish for a while, I accidentally dropped both of my gloves into the slush pile beside one of the ice holes. They froze almost immediately, and for obvious reasons, I couldn't wear them. We were able to fish for a grand total of about forty-five minutes over the course of the three day trip. It was probably one of the less disastrous trips, but still a mess.
The second year, we went to a different campground and chose probably the smallest, cheapest cabin they had. The problem with that, as we quickly learned, was that it was cheap because the heater didn't work. We fished through most of the trip because it was warmer on the lake than in the cabin and we ate out for lunch, too, because the cabin didn't really have enough dishes, and our restaurant shepherd's pie was suspiciously reminiscent of dog food. We also got skunked despite the ridiculous amount of time we spent fishing. Oh, and we got lost for a couple of hours in the back roads somewhere near Faylor Lake the first day.
The third year actually was about perfect. And that's where things really went wrong.
The fourth year, we forgot the first and second and invited three people who had never ice fished before. Of course, we woke up the first morning and the wind was gusting up to forty-miles-per-hour. Since there was already about two feet of snow on the ground, the wind was picking it up, piling it in drifts, and plastering it to faces and wind shields. We tried to fish anyway, and when we finally got the ice tent up, one of the gusts hit it and it quickly became three ice tents. We tried in the little camp pond later, without a tent, and although I did literally freeze my eyebrows, I couldn't get a sniff. We also got the car stuck on the access road for a good half hour.
This year, there wasn't any ice in February and we cancelled. We ended up going to a different place early this spring (for trout season) and the campground was a bit odd. The heater didn't work in this place, either, but there wasn't really that much that did work there. Every access to the trout stream was also posted (and sometimes patrolled, and one place even had a "public urination prohibited" sign up). We fished the camp's ponds instead, which was really excellent until we were informed that the camp manager would probably make us pay seven dollars per fish for our string of crappies. And on the last morning, it suddenly got cold and my best reel suddenly and randomly froze up permanently. On the way out, a bunch of little lumberjacks-for-hire dropped a tree on the road in front of us and took quite a while to get it back off.
I'm hoping that the stick might make next year's trip just as much fun and a little less of a disaster.