Hopes and Dreams

As many of you know, this summer marks the 20th anniversary of operations at VBL. It’s a time to celebrate, rejoyce and be grateful. And that’s exactly what Gord and Susanne, along with their guests, have been up to for the last two months. Spontaneous parties are happening daily in the lodge and cabins. There have been many wonderful boat parades as well, pretty much every evening. This, of course, attracts many celebrity-types who want to get in on the fun–the Perchmaster, Bamboo Mark and the Russians to name but a few. I felt compelled to get in on the action, and did.

My friend, Marty, and I spent a week at VBL at the end of June.  We were ready to fish and party until exhaustion set in. Unfortunately, our timing for this trip could not have been worse. The weather turned hot and sunny upon or arrival and stayed that way. Then the winds kicked in. The mayflies were hatching in abundance every day. Worse yet, our hosts, the guests and even the fish, fell into a bit of a funk. Gord would head down to the docks early in the day as he usually does to prepare the boats. Then he would putter about the fish house in order to avoid walking up the driveway back to the lodge–for most of the day. Susanne started skipping her rigorous workout, “the shred”, and settled for riding around the lake for the now occassional evening boat parade. The general malaise was something you could feel. The fishing, which had been quite good, slowed down for most guests, Marty and I included. It was not what we had hoped and dreamed about. There were no big lakers, walleyes, or pike to be caught by us on Eagle that week.

That folks, is the way fishing sometimes goes. However, we did enjoy some good pike fishing on Clearwater Lake. One large pike, about 35 inches, and several near 27 inches, came to net one day. All were caught trolling deep-diving Rapalas. A bonus fish is pictured below…a fat, 29 inch walleye which also went for the Rapala. Marty and I were very happy about this one. It was released along with the large pike. Clearwater Lake is accessed by a portage trail from Eagle. It’s about a 20 minute hike in to Gord’s boat cache. The newer 10 hp Yamaha outboard worked great and is a big upgrade over the tired-out Johnson.

I love hawg walleyes.

I’ll close with a final note, perhaps a bit unusual, but worth mentioning. Gord is clearing out his underwear collection that he’s had since VBL opened 20 years ago. I picked-up a three-pack for $6.00. To be clear, these are used and stained in all the usual places. But, these are freshly laundered, and remarkably, are still serviceable. Each brief is hand-lettered with VBL 20th. I’m planning on offering these as gifts to a few close friends come Christmas time.

Supply is limited.



22 thoughts on “Hopes and Dreams

  1. “NEWS FLASH” The Perchmaster is a lost for words!!!!!
    Nice walleye. Where are the rest of the pics?
    Andy is not along again to hold your hand?
    Those stanined undies look like the same one Susanne brushed under the bed when giving us an updated tour of the nest.

  2. By the looks of those drawers, I do believe the professor messed himself when he caught that 29″ walleye. Perchmaster, the Professor decided he wanted to be something other than a designated net man and is trying to branch out. These kinds of weeks tend to build character and the missus told me he needed a good dose of that. I will be up in August with a small crew and the professor has an extended stay planned with the missus. She just was not’ sympathetic to him spending the entire summer at VBL.

  3. Gord, is this true–“the walleye fishing is happening right now!” More importantly, will it still be going when Andy arrives a few weeks from now?

    1. Actually, it is true! Walleye Madness week is crazy with walleye. Today a 27 1/2 inch walleye……plus a 50 inch muskie. I’m sure Andy will hammer them as well…… It’s all about the attitude Joe……..perhaps a “Review of hopes and dreams…..Expectations Re-defined” is the sequel to your last post………..

      1. My attitude remains a source of constant torment for me. I try so hard, but seem to fall short. Perhaps I should redefine my expectations and settle for the recliner, a six-pack of Bud, and reruns of the Beverly Hilbillies.

  4. Gord,

    The Walleye Madness Tournament brings out the worst in the professor. Normally, he is all too willing to thread a nice juicy crawler on my hook, or to man the net, or to put on the red man glove and dehook my walleye.

    The year he beat me out for the Walleye Madness tournament by one piddler walleye, he was a whole different person. He would pass me sun dried crawlers. He could never quite get to the net in time. When I set the hook he would gun the motor and say something like, “try to keep your line out of the prop”.

    The following year the professor was beaten soundly in the tournament and was never the same man. He forgot his way. You see, I used to coach him. He wouldn’t listen to me, but he would become mesmerized when I would put a puppet swim bait minnow on my finger and talk to him in a “Mr. Bill” voice. He would do everything I would tell him. To see this in action, see the video:

    I think if we are going to turn around his attitude, we will need to organize that perch paloosa or rodeo as the Green Bay boys prefer to call it.

    1. Yes, others have noticed his absence at the last few Walleye Madness weeks. Marsha has even thrown out some comments like ” the professor and Andy are too chicken to compete”. Now that even the fish are thumbing their noses at the Professor I think all he has left is his underwear collection and a few 6 oz. bottom bouncer weights. Perhaps if he redefines his expectations (such as “today I will catch a perch, maybe”) he will be fine. The sulking and moaning will soon be a thing of the past………

  5. Gord,

    I am going to attempt to repeat the August perch phenomenon as a means of dispelling the notion that these fish can only be caught in the spring. Please have your fillet knife sharp and ready to go. That should give the Professor hope when he returns with the Missus. If I can find the time, I also want to test out another secret water body for these same perch. The Professor was supposed to do that for me, but he must have been delinquent in his duties. Actually its not so secret….its in the belly of that one nice walleye that the Professor is holding. No need to hoard secrets when the water levels are down. Unlike the other spots, these fish are schooled in deeper water.

  6. Gord,

    This post would have been so much more enjoyable with a pair of those yellow bikini bottoms. Did they make a repeat visit this year?

        1. Folks, all I can say is that Andy is simply chock full of ideas. Though many are crude, tasteless, and have nothing to do with fishing, he always can be counted on to make you think about things that, perhaps, should never be thought about. This is a character flaw we both share and is the main reason we get along well with each other–and Gord.

  7. This is the missus speaking: What you do not know is the underware always looks like this due to Joe’s poor laundry skills! Any suggestions to him on how to brighten those nasty stains would be appreciated. P.S. He does have a few sexy ones too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Like Norman Bates in the movie Psycho, I suspect that the Professor is dressed up like the Missus and posting on this blog. He (she) is even wearing his (her) sexy underwear. Very warped, but I will overlook the queer nature of this and answer the pertinent question……how to avoid those nasty stains. Perhaps you (he/she/them) could wear them for less than a week before changing?

  8. One word Nancy. Commando

    Gord, can we quickly move to another post that would give us hope for next weekend? I am very worried that when we show up, the professor’s VBL briefs are going to be hanging from the line.

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On behalf of the Boyes Group, I would like to pass on our sincere thanks for hosting the Muskie Madness Week and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at VBL and had a great time!! This was our 7th year on Eagle Lake and we have stayed at a few other lodges but VBL takes the cake hands down! You can definitely count us in for next year. I’m happy to see you post some of my pics, they turned out well. Thanks again Gord for a wonderful week of fishing and your stellar hospitality, you run a first class operation, we look forward to seeing you next year!

Trevor Benner

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