No. 212



Have you ever been “hooked” on something by watching it on television but were never able to do it in real life? The word hooked in this case has special significance because I was able to take a once in a lifetime fishing trip a few months ago. Before I tell you about it, I would just like to say that in each of my columns I try to place you in the picture because it would be an out and out bore if all I did was talk about me and all the exciting things that are happening in my life.

Hopefully, for this reason there are some goals or things of interest in your life that you would really like to do but have just never found the time or the money to do them. For the baseball fan it might be to attend the “World Series”; the basketball fan, “The Final Four”; the horse racing fan, “The Kentucky Derby”; the Nascar fan, “The Brickyard 400”; the football fan, “The Super Bowl”; the golf fan, “The Masters” and of course, the list is endless.

But back to that fishing trip. There have been many Saturday mornings over the past few years when I have watched fishing shows on television. The fish and the scenery is spectacular. One of my favorite shows is “In-Fisherman” that is based up in the North country of Minnesota. I’ve always wanted to catch some of those Northern species of fish like the Walleye, Muskie and Northern Pike but have just never taken the time or had the money to go after them.

Then my fortunes changed. Some new friends, Dale & Sue Wynkoop go to the “boundary waters” north of Ely, Minnesota each year and this past September they invited me to go along. I said to myself, “If you are ever going to do it, this is your chance and I worked hard for the next several weeks to get things in order here at the office.

It was a long, but wonderful 1000 mile trip by SUV through the states of Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa and Minnesota and we stopped at “Cabela’s” in Owatonna, Minnesota, which is the world’s foremost outfitter. We arrived in Ely on a Thursday afternoon and made our way to a resort on Fall Lake, where we were met by some of their friends from Missouri: Verne, Jay and Betty Myers, Troy & Nancy Calvin, Richard Cunningham and Pat Patterson. These people were wonderful, had been there many times, and I felt at home from the very first moment.

During the next 6 days we caught lots of fish and I caught my first Walleye, hooked a Muskie and I will never forget the swirl that 6 lb. Northern Pike made when it attacked my lure. He’s in the freezer now. One thing I was warned about before I went was not to put my hands in the mouth of these fish because they have big teeth. In fact, you have to use a steel leader as they will go through nylon line in nothing flat.

I also learned the meaning of the term “Portage” as we would motor by boat a few miles, get out and put the boat on a set of wheels, with gear still in, and portage over a trail through the woods and put in another lake and do this as many times as you wanted to do it. When you get to the end of the road and hit the “Boundary Waters” on the Canadian line, you can go for miles and never see another human being. As Nancy Calvin said, “This is awesome.”

As I said, this was a once in a lifetime trip. I may never go back but I am truly glad I went and in closing I would just like to say, whatever your dreams, I hope they come true and if the opportunity comes along....GO FOR IT!! (Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)