I heard a whisper, “Kev, hey Kevin, let’s go.” The camper was still dark and you could hear my mom and sister stir but, they stayed in bed. As dad and I got dressed you could feel the camper rock as we put on our pants. We opened the camper door slowly trying no to make any noise but, the door made a slow creaking sound. As we stepped out of the camper we could still see the amber burning in the fire pit from the night before. Everything we needed was already in the boat. As we walked down to the boat through the trail we could just see it was starting to get light.
Jo-Mary lake was flat, there was no wind and the boat sat there waiting for us. I jumped in the boat and dad gave a big push off with his foot. We slowly floated away from the shore until we were in deep enough water to put the motor down. Two pulls on the old Johnson motor and a puff of smoke rose up from the back and we could smell the exhaust. Dad and I slowly moved away form the shore until we were far enough not to wake campers in the campground.
Dad always headed for the same shore and followed the same routine. We would use big rods with lead line with different colors. He would run two to three colors and he would have me run a little less or a little more than him, trying to find where the salmon were. He also loved the mooselook wobbler in copper. It wasn’t very often that we ventured from this set up. I would often ask to bring a worm and bobber. I always enjoyed casting and watching that bobber bounce up and down when a fish would take it.
We didn’t catch many fish doing this and I often found trolling very boring but I did love to be out there with my dad. I have never forgotten the feeling of the warmth of the sun as it would come up over the trees and the smell of pine and cedar trees or the shocking feeling when a salmon did finally hit that mooselook wobbler. This is probably the reason I enjoy what I do so much and it is my passion.
I remembered one time dad ventured from his typical shore and headed up by the island. As we made our first pass, you could hear me singing “Valerie, Valerah My knapsack on my back. I love to wander by the stream ...” I was probably 10 or 12 years old. As we made another swing, wham! I had a strike and I reeled like crazy, then nothing. This went on for a while and every time I would reel in I felt nothing. So, when it was time to head in, I started to reel up. As I got the lure closer to the boat, I could feel some tension, there was a 12 inch landlocked salmon. I had been towing that fish around all morning! Dad and I had a good laugh.