As I wind up a spring's-worth of projects and desk-sitting, I eagerly await an upcoming Muskie trip to Canada in June. Fishing has been far too little for me with the warmth this season has granted us early season anglers, and the demands of everyday life has held far too tight a leash. Many of you probably have similar issues, which is why a new article written by Dave Coulson hits home right now.
Dave recalls his trip to Saskatchewan's Arctic Lodges in the new article posted on FishExplorer.com titled "The Trip of a Lifetime
". It is a thorough recap of his adventure with less focus on the fishing and more focus on the experience.
For most of us, when setting out on any fishing trip our thoughts are focused on catching numerous big fish. What we realize in the end however, is that we were probably really fishing for memories. Once the trip is over, that is what we are left with and could be considered the most prized catch. I surely enjoy big fish, but the moments that fill in between are often even more rewarding.
As I set out my gear and check my lists well in advance of our week-long muskie hunt, which is coming faster than I can comprehend, I've come across some of these memories. Checking through my lures I find a big bucktail missing the treble hook, and recall the last muskie I landed at night in a thunderstorm.
It was the last night of our trip and we had a full moon, incoming weather, and sunset all coinciding. We decided to stick it out and fish one more spot that should have produced for us during the week but had not. I am lucky to have had good rain gear and a willing boat partner. I hooked onto a fish as darkness fell and the rain dumped, landed a 40 inch muskie, cut the hook off that was lodged in our cradle as well as the toothy mouth, shot a photo and released the fish before hightailing it back to the lodge. I never got to repairing that hook. It was one of the only times I can remember catching a fish on "last cast" (of any species), and I have rested well over the last two years knowing that on my most recent cast for muskie, I landed one.
I found my old lightning detector with a missing gage panel and recall narrowly escaping a hideous thunderstorm that seemingly came out of nowhere. We reached land seconds before nearly being hit by a strike, and sat out the onslaught for 30 minutes, dripping and telling stories. Only to head out and back again three times before falling into the lake on a slick rock and dropping a previously owned lightning detector into the drink. It was a much needed hour long break from intense fishing, and is more vivid than whatever we did or caught next.
Notes from our trips, mangled leaders, photographs, scarred lures, and rips in my bag all amount to a plethora of memories from these trips we've made over the years with good friends. The photographs are most concrete and telling, but what fills the gaps between these grip-and-grins are the memories that really make these getaways special. I can't wait for our upcoming journey, and the lasting memories it will surely produce.