Ramblings on a -27C morning……..

On a cold morning such as this it is hard to imagine that the lake will ever thaw and open water fishing begin. While I wait for the sun to thaw out my truck, here’s a few musings on warmer weather………
Some of the fun aspects of the season are the Walleye Madness Week (July 24-31) and the Muskie Madness Week (September 11-18) where a week of friendly competition culminates in the awarding of one of these fine trophies! Hand carved by artist Charles Weiss, these are the 2010 versions up for grabs. Now wouldn’t those look nice on your wall! Give me a call, I’ll squeeze you in!

My other thoughts turn to this old classic……the Zebco Cardinal 3. This is the ultra-light version made by Abu-Garcia back in the 70’s and was given to me by long time guide and “Eagle-Laker” Gord Euler. This seems to be the reincarnation of the “Ol Greenie” I owned for decades. The sad but true tale of losing Ol Greenie is burnt into my brain. Several years ago we had two couples stop off the highway for an overnight cabin. These people were from Italy (only one spoke English) and were on their way to Churchill, Manitoba to see polar bears. One thing lead to another and they decided that they should go fishing on the way back, and that I should guide them. Now, these were not our typical fisher people. The women were somewhat older, but were dressed like Italian models. Particularly intriguing was the hair color of one lady…..sort of a burnt red, fluorescent orange combo…….very distracting. Of course no one has equipment, or likely has even fished before…….never mind the language barrier. Well, I set them up with my stuff, including the classic Zebco on a lovely St. Croix ultra-light rod which I “lent” to the Italian lady in my boat. I even conscripted my son Mike into guiding and running the other boat……..he had the couple who spoke no English, which was perfect for Mike who isn’t much for small talk. We did the adventure trip of going up the creek into Clearwater Lake, which seemed to impress the Italians greatly. The fishing was absolutely “stupid”…..you couldn’t help but catch trout or whitefish…….and we often had 2 on at the same time. Mike even landed a 40 inch pike out of 60 feet of water……it was nuts. It was so nuts in fact that when the lady in the boat set down “my” rod and reel to take a picture of her husband’s fish it was like the time-space continuum suddenly slowed to a crawl. From the corner of my eye I thought I saw the rod tip go down……at about the same time the butt of the rod went way up. I had time to think “What the hell, she left her lure in the water…….” and perhaps started a futile grab maneuver. The rod vaulted over the side and entered the nether regions of deep water. I could only smile and control the urge to strangle someone….it was my beloved “Ol Greenie”.
I’m over the trauma now, and actually have fond memories of that day. We had a great shore lunch of fried trout, and even saw a 12 point buck. The “rod loser” woman was very gracious in her broken English in offering to pay for my rod……but I chose to just chock it up to experience. Well, now a new “Ol Greenie” has surfaced. Time to grease it up and get it ready for the summer of 2010!

4 thoughts on “Ramblings on a -27C morning……..

  1. Hey! those are sweet looking fishing trophies!
    Good Luck to everyone who enters the contests.
    The stories Gord.
    They go on and on. Good One!
    It's always interesting when Gord goes fishing with out-of-town guests?

  2. Every time I hear the story about the Italians and the lost Cardinal/St.Croix combo I weep uncontrollably for about 30 miniutes or so. This is one of the saddest VBL stories ever. Right up there with the tragic death of Wild Bill, Gord's monster musky lost, and the oil-deprived Merc 60 four-stroke, tortured to a gruesome ending.

    VBL, strangely, is a metaphore for life. It provides sweet and bitter occasions that we must experience to be alive. VBL thrills us for the most part. But the risk of heartbreak is ever-present. Yet, we dream about it pleasantly; we go there regardless of the long drive; and we fish like fools. Ultimately, we become happy. Just as Gord, Susanne and the fish gods intended.

    I feel better now.

  3. Professor, let me just say that I am proud to have provided you the bitter occasions that have fueled your life-furnace. Here at VBL, we will continue to strive to be multi-dimensional in all that we do. As Susanne would say….it's all part of the "wow" service.

  4. Gord,

    I have heard this sad tale told many times. Every time I hear it, i think of Sophia Loren in the movie Grumpier Old Men. I picture you as Walter Mathau or Jack Lemon. It is a sad tale indeed as I have one of these fine reels, and it is my favorite bull perch reel mounted on an ultra lite.

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Testimonials

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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