Is it about the fish?

I took my first trip to Canada after my 8th grade year. My dad and his buddy picked me and his buddy’s son up after school and we drove all night to Wawa, ON. We flew out the next morning for 4 days of remote fishing.

I can’t tell you anything about any of the fish we caught. But I can tell you that every time I go to Ontario fishing I feel like I’m in the 8th grade again…and I miss my dad like crazy (he passed way almost 5 years ago at age 53).

Two years ago, the summer my oldest son was turning 9, I took him up to VBL along with his grandpa (my father-in-law). When you ask him about the trip, he doesn’t talk much about the fish we caught. He talks about playing with the dogs, looking at books on Indian paintings with Suzanne, how “gross” it was to watch to Gord clean fish, how wet he got going across the lake the first time we let him drive the boat, the portage through the woods, the loon calls, gull rock and a hundred other things.

Mission. Accomplished.

This year my 2nd son turns 9 and in a few weeks, we will be up at VBL giving him his first Northwoods experience. I have 4 boys and this year they will turn 11, 9, 7, and 5. Every summer when one of them turns 9, they will go to VBL. And after they all have been up with just me, then we will all get to go.

I think the “fishing lodge” experience is about so much more than catching fish. It’s about getting them unplugged from iPods, getting them into nature. It’s about getting to spend some real quality time trolling the Walleye Highway, hoping we hook into one…not so we can talk about how many we caught, but I so I see the joy on his face reeling it in.

I couldn’t care less about catching the fish. I am after so much more than that!


I hope as you make your plans for a trip to VBL or your local fishing hole, you remember why you are going…and what really matters!

See you on the water!


3 thoughts on “Is it about the fish?

  1. Some good sentiments on what is really the important part for a trip such as this. Looking forward to the next version of the “Dustin Kaehr family fishing vacation”….See you in a few weeks! …..and you’re right…it isn’t all about the fish…there is so much more…

  2. Well done Dustin well done.
    I’m with Gord you complete the cycle with a trip and a men’s trip with a family trip.
    Good Luck on your ice fishing trip in a couple weeks.

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If you like GREAT fishing, hospitality and affordability, Vermilion Bay Lodge is highly recommended. I have been making the trip to Vermilion Bay Lodge for the past 10 years and have never once been disappointed. If you like great walleye, northern, musky and trout fishing, this place should not be overlooked. The fishing has been excellent… no matter what time we went. Gordy and Susanne are wonderful hosts that will make you feel right at home. Check it out – I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.


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