Gary Larson…”poet laureate of Vermilion Bay Lodge”

I hope you, Susanne and your family had a great holiday season.
Ours was generally quiet and the weather was unseasonably warm, which was fine with me.
Based upon my “prominent” position in the 2015 edition of The Beaver, I thought it only fitting that I pen a short “missive” over the winter for the Electic Beaver. After all, being the Poet Laureate of Vermilion Bay Lodge does come with some responsibilities (I am not sure what they would be, but there must be some, somewhere).
Here you go, enjoy!

He did not remember when he had first started to talk aloud when he was by himself. He had sung when he was by himself in the old days and he had sung at night sometimes when he was alone. He had probably started to talk aloud, when alone, when the boys had left. But he did not remember. When he and the boys fished together they usually spoke only when it was necessary. They talked at night or when they were storm-bound by bad weather. It was considered a virtue not to talk unnecessarily on the lake and the old man had always considered it so and respected it. But now he said his thoughts aloud many times since there was no one that they could annoy. “If the others heard me talking out loud they would think that I am crazy,” he said aloud. “But since I am not crazy, I do not care. Now is the time to think of only one thing. That which I was born for. There might be a big one around that school, he thought. I picked up only a straggler from the walleye that were feeding. But they are working far out and fast. Everything that shows on the surface today travels very fast and to the north-east. Can that be the time of day? Or is it some sign of weather that I do not know? He could not see the green of the shore now but only the tops of the blue hills that showed white as though they were snow-capped and the clouds that looked like high snow mountains above them. The lake was very dark and the light made prisms in the water. The myriad flecks of sediment were annulled now by the high sun and it was only the great deep prisms in the blue green water that the old man saw now with his line going straight down into the water that seemed a mile deep.
“What a fish,” he said. “He has the walleye sideways in his mouth now and he is moving off with it.” Then he will turn and swallow it, he thought. He did not say that because he knew that if you said a good thing it might not happen. He knew what a huge fish this was and he thought of him moving away in the darkness with the walleye held crosswise in his mouth. At that moment he felt him stop moving but the weight was still there. Then the weight increased and he gave more line. He tightened the pressure of the drag for a moment and the weight increased and was going straight down. “He’s taken it,” he said.
The old man had seen many great fish. He had seen many that weighed perhaps as much as this one and he had caught fish of this size, but never alone. Now alone, and out of sight of land, he was tied into the biggest fish that he had ever seen and bigger than he had ever heard of, and his hands were still as tight as the gripped claws of an eagle.
He had no feeling of his left hand but he pulled and reeled all he could with his right and the line rushed out. Finally his left hand came alive and he leaned back against the fish and pulled the rod with as much force as he had left in him. Just then the fish jumped making a great bursting of the lake and then a heavy fall. Then he jumped again and again and the line was still racing out and the old man was raising the strain to the breaking point and raising it to the breaking point again and again.
He took all his pain and what was left of his strength and his long gone pride and he put it against the fish’s agony and the fish came over onto his side and swam gently on his side, his nose almost touching the side of the boat. The old man dropped the rod and put his foot on it and drove the landing net as far down into the water as he could with all his strength, and more strength he had just summoned, to encircle the great fish and hoist it into the boat.       
Exhausted, he slumped to the bottom of the boat, next to the great fish and said, “Back at VBL we got a fish cleaner man named Gord. He gonna have a heart attack we he see what I brung him!”
Gary Larson
Poet Laureate of Vermilion Bay Lodge

*Editors Note:  Gary Larson has been a long time guest and general trouble maker here at Vermilion Bay Lodge for many years.  Possibly the many years he spent being guided by Gord Euler (notably the oldest living guide on Eagle Lake) left deep scars, and the burning desire to come up with his own tall tales.  In the recent edition of “The Beaver” Gary was highlighted for his somewhat mysterious entry of a large musky caught while fishing by himself.  Truth is often in the eye of the beholder…..or is that beauty?  What ever.  I’m sure that we will all look forward to more tales of adventure from Gary in the near future.

One thought on “Gary Larson…”poet laureate of Vermilion Bay Lodge”

  1. The chance of landing a legendary “Gary’n” type musky on our next trip is what is bringing us back to VBL. That and the great hosts of course!

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If you’re looking for an outstanding vacation spot for the serious fisherman or a family get away you should consider Vermillion Bay Lodge on Eagle Lake, Ontario Canada. We have stayed at many lake resorts over the years, but none offer the simple pleasures of this one. The lake is large enough and holds enough fish for the most adventuresome fisherman and yet easy for local family fishing for young children. Bring your own boat or use one of the aluminum boats (20 hp) at the lodge. Boat dockage is well protected from the wind and allows easy access to the water.

What sets this lodge apart from most others is it is always clean, well kept with lots to do including paddle boats canoes, bon fires in the evenings and a just plain friendly atmosphere.

Bruce & Sally

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