Ice fishing on Lake Simcoe

Weekends: Ice fishing on Lake Simcoe

Ice fishing? I must be crazy! So were the thoughts running through my head and that of my spouse, as two lifelong friends approached me with the idea. Never one to turn down an idea that borders on insanity, plans were made to tackle the elements of a crisp Ontario winter in the close confines of a fishing hut stationed somewhere out in the middle of nowhere. At least the ride there and back again would be in style.

The 2009 Chrysler Town & Country is everything a luxury family transporter should be. With all the accoutrements of a small apartment, the words “Mini” and “Van” no longer apply. Excellent space, layout, design and features are just some of the reasons why Chrysler, together with Dodge, own 50% of this market in Canada.

Under the hood resides a 4.0L SOHC 24-valve V6 engine. Matched with a 6-speed automatic transmission, it develops 251 horsepower and 259 lb-ft of torque. Acceleration is strong, but don’t expect to out accelerate a Dodge Challenger or even a Dodge Journey at a stoplight. The point of this vehicle is people hauling and for that, it doesn’t get much better.

Inside, the Limited Edition features ambient lighting, a glass power sunroof and integrated second and third row sunshades. All seats are extremely comfortable. Suede microfibre accents and leather seat coverings provide excellent support and look good doing so!

2009 Chrysler Town & Country Limited

Additional standard features on the Limited Edition are Stow’ n Go and Swivel’ n Go 2nd row captain’s chairs featuring dual armrests and adjustable fore and aft placement. The unique premium sliding floor center console offers so much storage space, it could almost be the ideal hiding place for a game of hide and seek.

The rear bench is unique in that it appears to tilt back more so than others in this class. In fact, this slight boost in seat angle increases comfort for the backseat passengers by increasing both leg and headroom.

If, like me, you have never been ice fishing, the first thing to remember is that it gets cold being out on a lake for hours at a time. Surprisingly, however, this is not the case in the fishing hut. On the contrary, all that is required to keep the hut comfortable is a small propane burner, good insulation and padded seats. Away from the howling wind, all was toasty warm.

The cold comes when you open the latched door and head outside for a few minutes to stretch your legs. The wind, and in our case freezing rain, remind you quickly what time of year it is and just how far the hut is from the rest of civilization.

Looking out across Lake Simcoe, it appeared as though several small towns had suddenly sprung up from out of the ice and snow. Our small community featured a total of five fishing huts and a well equipped, one person washroom. What more does anyone really need other than toilet paper, a place to sit and a good magazine? Opening the door was cold, yes, but the unobstructed view was amazing!

Back in the hut, two rectangular holes exposed a 6 meter drop to the sandy floor of the lake. The subzero ice surface was upwards of 400 mm thick. Below this, the crystal clear green water showcased whatever happened to pass by our minnows with resolution equal to any LCD TV screen. As someone who fishes during the warmer months on a regular basis, rarely have I seen water this clear.

The day’s events were filled with stories, catching, cleaning and eating fresh fish while listening to the sounds of distant snowmobiles or the silence of winter on a lake. When spending a day such as this away from the noise of civilization, it isn’t hard to imagine what it must have been like to be one of the first settlers to arrive on the shores of Lake Simcoe many years ago.

Back on land, the drive took a slight detour on Highway 48 as we stopped in Sutton, Ontario for dinner. As the evening wore on, the Chrysler Town & Country Limited proved why so many across North America still consider this type of vehicle the pinnacle for family transportation.

Safety features include 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS, ESP and Brake Assist, along with front and side curtain airbags. A very useful option is the Blind Spot and Cross Path detection system. Should someone pull up beside your vehicle on the highway, a yellow triangular light illuminates on the outside mirror. On the busy 401 Highway in Southern Ontario, it came in handy on several occasions.

Luxury accommodations are not always the sole domain of a beautiful hotel located somewhere exotic in the world. On this particular trip, extravagance was found in the form of a 2009 Chrysler Town & Country Limited and in the somewhat cramped confines of a fishing hut in the middle of a remote lake. Sometimes keeping it simple is the best method to truly get away from it all.

2009 Chrysler Town & Country Limited
Configuration: front engine/FWD
Engine/Transmission: 4.0L SOHC 24-valve V6/6-speed automatic
Power/Torque: 251 hp/259 lb-ft
Fuel economy ratings city/hwy: 12.2/7.9 L/100 km
Observed fuel economy: 9.8 L/100 km
Competitors: Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna

Related links:
Chrysler Canada
Steve’s Fish Huts

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