By Matt Kroschel

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– While temperatures dip into the single digits across parts of Colorado, most of us are bundled up tight. But there is one group of people who are spending their day on ice– literally.

“This is my favorite, I spend more time doing this anything else,” ice fisherman Gary Zumwalt told CBS4 as he hauled his gear onto the lake to begin his fishing derby. “I couldn’t imagine anywhere else wanting to be in on the ice for New Year’s Day.”

The journey made easier with a $19 sled to haul the tools of his trade. For Gary, staying warm isn’t hard with a few extra layers and some elbow grease.

(credit: CBS)

“Using the hand auger is good because by the time you get cold, you can take it out and drill another hole, you’re good for another hour,” he added.

Ice fishing is more than just a hobby for Gary, “Some people like to ski, I like to ice fish.”

It’s an escape. An escape from a complicated world to a much quieter one.

“This is my job, people always ask me what I do for a living I say, ‘I live the life of Gary,’” he smiled as he dipped his line in the icy water.

The ice is definitely thick at Green Mountain Reservoir but if you’re going to venture out onto ice anywhere else in Colorado, make sure you check first to make sure it safe.

Matt Kroschel covers news throughout Colorado working from the CBS4 Mountain Newsroom. Send story ideas to and connect with him on Twitter @Matt_Kroschel.


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