I was thinking back about the last time I soloed a fishing trip, and come to think of it, it's been a long time. I've never really wondered why though, because all I have to do is look through my pictures to see that I have a lifetime of memories spent outdoors with great friends. Some are old, some new, but we all share a desire to be outside and be a part of this world around us. This is where I believe true richness in life comes from. The wealth is in the experiences and in sharing it with others. Here are a couple of my experiences from this summer.
On a hot August summer day Wayne, Leonie, Melanie and I took our rag tag fishing show on the road and set up shop at Lessard Lake. I was excited about showing off my mad trolling skills for suspended pike, because I had laid a real beating on them doing the exact same thing in summers past. But as you may have already guessed, no such pike were remotely interested in my set ups. So with my tail tucked firmly between my legs I did what any sane angler would do. I stopped the boat mid lake and jumped in for a swim, followed quickly by Mel and the rest of the gang. If you can't beat 'em... join 'em.
I was thinking back about the last time I soloed a fishing trip
The shallow troll tagged a beauty
Then there was the trip to Calling Lake with my friend Chris. Calling is walleye heaven and if the Gods were on our side, we'd find several walleye in the magic slot size and bring some fish home for dinner. The walleye were biting alright, first they started off too small, then they were too big, and then the odd pike would bite too. It was great times, but none in the slot size. However that all changed in front of one little floating dock, where in a hundred meter stretch we'd get bites repeatedly and soon we caught several of our slot sized fish.
Calling Lake with my friend Chris
Calling is walleye heaven if the Gods are on your side
At about the exact same time though, Chris and I were becoming more and more interested in what the sky was doing. A steady wind off the lake was feeding a distant, but growing thunderstorm. "See those dimple like clouds at the front edge of that storm?" Chris asked. "That's the effect of strong updrafts feeding into that storm, when you see them it's time to take cover because some serious weather is coming your way." No sooner said than done. We packed our gear and raced for shore at a blazing 1 to 2 miles an hour, as fast as our little electric could take us. A hundred meters distant from the boat launch the air went still and we both took a big gulp we literally were in the calm before the storm. Please, please let us make it to shore. We did, and in military like efficiency we had the boat on the trailer and all gear packed inside of 10 minutes. We jumped into the truck just as the first rains hit, and by the time we made the 3 minute drive to the highway, hurricane like winds were pounding and rocking our truck and trailer. Downpours of rain flooded the headlights and debris choked the air. Visibility was nonexistent, save for the continuous lighting that beat down all over us, flashing the sky. We were pinned down and there was nothing else we could do. We parked at the side of the road and just had to take it. It was one of the very few times in my life I felt like a tornado could appear. We moved down the road only when the rains would let us and eventually we made it to the town of Athabasca. It only took one experience to forever burn into my mind the importance of keeping an eye out for those dimple clouds. Thanks Chris! Be it stormy weather or sunny skies, I've had the pleasure of sharing many outdoor experiences in the company of good friends. Fishing, and living a life outdoors is an outstanding way of building a community and over time I've come to realize the catching has gone both ways. I have a ton of fun being out and about with friends, and in turn they have made my experiences that much richer.