A few weeks ago, I received a note from someone who had spent some time on Northern Jacks and wanted to connect. It was a pleasant surprise, a few more notes have gone back and who knows, perhaps we will wet a line together one of these days. Our conversation got me thinking about how I ended up making these annual sojourns to spend time, money and vacation days to sit in a confined space trying to entice a pea brained fish to nibble on a hook I have dangled in the water. If you want to email me as well its firstname.lastname@example.org I love chatting about trips
I have spent most of my life trying to spend as much time in the outdoors as possible and in many ways keeping myself busy (idle hands and all that). I am the son of outdoor people Origin Story, spent many of my weekends as a kid at a trailer on Balsam Lake in the Kawarthas Trailer Park Boy but I really didn’t take my first fishing trip until I was in my early 30’s. Or to be more specific I spent money to stay at a lodge/camp/cottage for the purpose of catching fish. Up until that point I had spent many a day or weekend fishing a family or friends’ cottages but generally fishing was just one of the many items on the menu.
Why did it take me so long? Honestly, I am not sure. Budget was a concern; I didn’t know a lot of people who did fishing trips and, in some ways, there was just other things going on. The genesis for my first trip was my father. One winter my brother, Dad and I were sitting around and he brought up the idea. Let’s go on a fishing trip, my treat. Well, no dummies my brother and I quickly pounced on the idea and decided to visit the Toronto Sportsman show that March. We walked around the show grabbing various pamphlets, chatted with a few different outfitters, asked about their facilities. It was great – for years I had walked these halls looking for bargains on lures and maybe a rod. Trip shopping was a rush. We left with a few good leads and decided we would chat at Easter and formulate a plan.
We ended up deciding on Ellen Island Camp Ellen Island Camp on Lady Evelyn Lake. We absolutely slayed the walleye, bass and pike and the rest is history – NOT! I believe I have told this story before but it bears repeating. We left the Markham area in shorts and t shirts and by our second day on Lady E it was snowing. The fishing was tough to say the least. But for my brother and I something tweaked. A few years later we got another group of guys together Our Fishing Group and the rest is history. So much so that I created this blog (thank you for your patronage). We have now driven, boated and flown to a lot of places together.
So since fishing success wasn't the main reason I got hooked I tried to dive into why? Don't get me wrong as these trips have gone on fishing success is definitely a factor - on a fly in trip I can catch more walleye in a day than I can in a week (maybe even a summer) at home but I think the main reasons are:
· Disconnecting – on that first trip our lives were becoming so much more complicated. My niece had just been born, my wife and I had just bought our first home and the trip allowed us to just unwind a bit
· Camaraderie – we spend a lot of time together planning for these trips (just ask our wives) and while a degree of planning is needed it is also a great excuse for us to check in with each other, share some jokes, trade a few barbs and keep in touch.
· Making Memories – with the risk of sounding cheesy I love that these trips make memories. Memories that last a long time, to be shared around campfires for the rest of my life.
So our first trip wasn’t a resounding success but it definitely put me on a path where I hope I am able to take 1 (or more if I can swing it) of these trips a year for the rest of my life. I spend a lot of time talking writing and researching them but rather than time wasted I know its an investment in health, wealth and happiness. Warren Buffet, eat your heart out.