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Memorable Firsts

I do realize that this title could really disappoint someone searching the internet with nefarious or amorous intent… No this isn’t my first attempt at writing "50 Shades of Firetiger” but it is another guest writer blog post. I asked a few people who I know who love camping, cottaging, fishing and paddling as much as I do to send share some of their “first” outdoor experiences. Could be an early memory or could be the first time they tried something.

Mark - First Time Kayak Fishing

Every year I spend time with my family in Naples, Florida. I had started to notice people fishing on kayaks on one of our last visits and I was intrigued. A little searching online and I found an outfitter where I could rent a kayak. I just remember being nervous. Nervous on my way to the rental shop. Nervous as the outfitter gave me a demo. Worried about what my family was doing while I was out enjoying myself (with 3 kids I know it’s a handful!). A little spooked as I paddled by myself in the mangroves with the music from Jaws playing in my head. But that all changed once I started fishing. I caught my first fish in less than 10 minutes. I didn’t even know what it was. Honestly within 10 minutes I wasn’t spooked at all. Heck I even forgot I had kids after that! The rest of the day was incredible. I got loads of fish and just kept taking quick pictures to figure what they were after the fact! It was just an awesome outing. So much so that this past Fall I bought my first kayak from that outfitter – a Hobie Outback with Mirage Drive - I love it!

One of Mark's fish from the excursion

Colin – First Time Cottaging

A memory that totally sticks out for me is the first time I ever visited “cottage country” in Ontario. I believe I was 13 years old and we got invited to visit a neighbours cottage near Parry Sound. What stands out the most was the scenery. I had never ventured far from my hometown at that point and the sheer ruggedness and beauty of Georgian Bay was stunning. We were in the land of 30,000 island’s and we did the boat tour which was very cool. It’s where I really developed my love of the “North” and the Canadian Shield. Cottages perched high atop cliffs or obscured among the pines, exposed rocky shorelines and dark, deep water were so new and memorable to me. Even though it was so long ago I can still picture it like it was last week. I am now lucky enough to have a family cottage where we spend a fair amount of time. Both of my kids have been going there since they were very little and to be able to share that, well to quote Mastercard its “priceless”.

Colin at the cottage with his son

Scott – My First Fly In

Andrew has written a lot about our first fly in fishing trip and I get why. There are so many things that stand out but anticipation is an emotion I associate most with that trip. Meeting up with the group in the months leading up to the trip got the fires stoked. Driving to the airbase, trying to figure out what I forgot to bring and how many pounds overweight we might be. Flying into the cabin trying to get wrap my head around a) owning a lake for a week and b) not being Dad for a week and c) wondering if we would catch fish. Once we got there it was a race to unpack, string up rods and go for a fish. Heading to that first spot a little on edge waiting for that first bite and I mean anyone’s bite just to know that the lake indeed had fish. Each highlight just seemed to get me pumped for the next one. 20-inch walleye let’s find a 21, will tonight’s fire be better than last night, we saw two bald eagles yesterday how about a moose tomorrow and so on. All in all, the trip more than met every expectation. So much so I have been on 2 others and we are (fingers crossed) going again this August to Miniss Lake.

Scott with a nice walleye from his 3rd fly in trip (hes hooked)

So there are a few memorable firsts from some of my crew. I am hoping to create more of these and make it an regular feature on Northern Jacks. I am sure most of you are interested in hearing from someone other than me and they seem to be much better writers. If any of you would like to contribute feel free to connect with me at

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