Thursday, June 5, 2008


A friend and I were talking today . . . first about hunting, then about fishing.

I can only think of twice when I was really hunting with a gun in my hand. The first experience, with my Dad, was a good one as I brought down three or four Prairie Chickens, each with a single shot.

The second time I was alone, looking for pheasants. The only one I saw exploded into flight virtually from under my feet. I didn't come close to hitting it. I don't know what I would have done with it if I had killed it anyway.

But fishing. Now I liked fishing. At least when I caught something. I hated trolling. That's riding in a slow-moving boat with your hook in the water. Usually, I brought up weeds.

One day, at a lake in Canada, after trolling most of the day and not having caught anything, we came back to the dock at dusk. Dad headed up to the cabin to find something to cook for dinner. I said I was going to do some casting off the dock. Aha! Dusk apparently was feeding time and I almost immediately caught a fine Northern Pike, or a Jack as we called them.

Putting the fish on a stringer, I ran up the hill to the cabin to show Dad my prize. As he began cleaning it, I ran back down to the lake and promptly caught another.

By the time I brought a third fish up the hill, Dad said "Okay, that's enough." But it was a great triumphant day for me.

While telling my pal that story I was reminded of a couple of pictures that were taken back in the 1940's. So from at least 60 years ago, here's how it used to be at Carlyle Lake, in Saskatchewan.

That's my Dad on the far right. He's with three of his pals after a good day of fishing.

And here's Dad with a big fish, probably a Wall-eyed Pike, which we called Walleyes. As you can see by Dad's smile, that was a triumphant day for him.