The Joy of Banter

Last week my group got together to discuss our plan for our 2022 Fly in Trip with Slate Falls Outfitters. We confirmed our trip a few weeks back and we had a few items to chat about. Well, we have lots of time but an excuse to get together was required! As the evening wore on and the zingers started to fly, I thought about how much the banter within a trip is part of the overall experience I love


Huge walleye caught on Shekak Lake fly in fishing trip
Mark with a nice salmon...

Setting some context, I have known the members of my regular group for over 30 years. We love (oooh, gross) and respect each other but we also love to rip into each other! The comments can be spur of the moment (like the time Colin’s seat broke on Shekak Lake while battling a fish) or an old grudge revisited (the time Andrew half packed the shore lunch!)


A few of the better one liners have persisted – one only needs to say the line and everyone in the know understands who is getting ripped on and why, some of the best:


Don’t forget the Portobellos

My brother Dave is vegan. This was a new wrinkle for our 2020 trip Meal Plan w a Vegan One of our trip traditions is steak night. We spend a half decent amount of money to bring in some quality steaks, a good bottle (or 5) of red wine and enjoy a decadent meal in the bush. With a vegan we had portobello mushrooms on our list! Our grocery shop in Thunder Bay was a bit of a gong show – between being rushed, covid and a bit of a jumbled shopping list all made for a sh$% show. Eventually we got her done and were on our way to Sioux Lookout. As we made our way, I started to realize that I had not got the mushrooms – one of my items! I sweated a bit and eventually told the guys on my car. I asked for silence until we could figure if we could grab some in Sioux. Before I could even contemplate my next move a group text was out and the rip fest began! Basically, at any given meal someone would inevitably say “portobello’s would be good with this” “Pass me the ketchup, Andrew did you remember that” On and on it went. Basically, within our group forgetting something is now “Did you portobello it?”


Fly in fishing blog from Northern Ontario
What Dave's meal should have looked like

Sporks

On our trip to Algonquin this year we had a good set up Algonquin Trip - Mark was going to manage the cooking gear – the rest of us just needed a plate, bowl, cup and spork. As non frequent campers most of us hit our favorite outdoor websites and ordered up some plate ware. New sporks all around! After breakfast on Day 2 Scott was doing the dishes – good man that Scott. As he finished up, he walked to dump the grey water into the Thunderbox. Suddenly, we heard a few loud curse words. As he sheepishly walked back, he informed us that the good news was the dishes were done, the bad news was that he owed Chad a new spork. Hidden in that grey water was the handy eating tool and now it rested in the bottom of the latrine! Now whenever Scott goes to do anything he will forever hear “Hey Scott, don’t spork it”


It’s Not a Salmon

In our group Mark is the jig master or the jigging gnome Jigging Gnome This title is sort of a rip in its own right but truth be told our whole group would agree that Mark is hands down the best jig fisherman in our midst. On our Shekak lake trip Mark was working wonders with his 1/52-ounce jig on his ultralight. He must have been out fishing me 10 – 1. As we moved into a new spot, he set the hook into a big fish. Well, I thought it was a big fish considering the bend of his rod and the zing of his drag. As he eventually got the fish close to the boat it started doing some epic runs. Partially because of size but mainly because Mark has his drag set like a mooching rod on the Miramichi! Every time it got close to the net it would dive down and I swear the reel was smoking at this point. Finally, after my third attempt with the net, I yelled (maybe it was more of a scream Angry Andrew) “Whitey, tighten the drag, its not a salmon!” From that day forward anytime, we hear the zing of the drag someone will yell “It’s not a salmon for f%$Xs sake”


Algonquin park camping trip report
Shortly before the spork incident!

Good times! Honestly, I think the back and forth between our group is one of the things that makes these trips special. Lots of laughs and generally we don’t take ourselves to seriously. After all, we are in the middle of nowhere, fishing some of the fishiest waters in the world and with great friends. The banter is just another layer of mayo on an already amazing sandwich


Cheers

Andrew

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