Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fish Styx

Well, I'm back from Canada. Actually have been back since Saturday, July 3rd, but haven't really had time to breathe, let alone post. Thanks for bearing with me.

Canada was nothing less that fantastic, again. I'm not suffering from post-trip letdown like in years past, in part because I'm doing so much more travelling this month. That helps take the edge off the fact that summer is screaming past.

There is a photoshow of the entire trip that can be found at:

http://www.photoshow.com/watch/gi6aS5uR

It was a trip packed with fish and laughs. We had a great time, end to end.

There were a few sketchy moments at the border when my friend stumbled over the declaration of the alcohol we were taking over the border. Despite rehearsing it 12 times before we got to the border, he still messed up.

As it turns out, we were taking one case and one six pack OVER the limited amount into Canada. He started out saying that we had 3 cases plus one six pack, which the officer took to mean we were taking that much OVER the limit, instead of total. My friend then stumbled on his words, and back pedaled, to the point of annoyance. The officer then got frustrated and tore off the sheet from his pad and said "Please explain yourself!"

Eventually in a moment of clairvoyance, he was able to relay that we were 30 beers over our limit, not 78.

Then, when he went indoors to pay the duty on this overage, the lady asked if he had his receipts for the beer. "Well, no I don't," he said.

"Why not? You've been to Canada before, right?" she inquired

"Because we've never brought an overage in before," he countered

"Well then, how much does a case of beer cost in Milwaukee?" she asked

"18 dollars"

"Fine, then you owe 18 dollars" she said.

So, in essence beer in Canada is twice what it cost here. Our thinking was that at least it would allow us to choose the type of beer we wanted, and not be stuck with Labatt Blue.

He returned to the van fairly agitated. "That was not fun! Not fun at all!" he exclaimed.

Dave and I joked at how funny it was to watch him flounder. We joked that he said;

"We have eleventy seven, niner beers, sir"

"Was there a niner in there?"

On the way out of Canada, we got interrogated by the US custom guys who asked where we worked, how we knew each other and made all of us take out sunglasses off. We must look like a shady bunch of characters or something. We joked that we should declare that we had an AK47 and a rocket launcher in the back, and was that a bad thing? There were many other joking references before we got to the window, which was perhaps part of what rattled Steve so much that he messed up.

Anyhow the biggest fish of the week were: a 29.5" Northern, a 29" Walleye and a 17" Smallmouth Bass. By the end of the week Dave was measuring fish in 1/4 inches which is really pretty funny. It is kind of an unwritten rule that you stop at 1/2's, but he claimed he caught a 16 3/4" bass. Well, now that's a scientific number isn't it? Considering you're measuring a flopping fish on a rocking boat, using a scale taped to the side of a curved boat, 3/4 measurements are a bit of a stretch, so to speak.

There was much laughter and smart talking on the deck every night after a long day on the water. The cabins we stayed in are right on Niobe Lake and ours has a nice deck to watch the sunsets on. Steve brought his Ipod dock, and that gave us enough background music to keep us going.

A couple of things became clear to me during this trip. At one point on like the third day or so, it occurred to me that there will come a day when I won't be physically able to take a trip like this. Fishing solid for four days is hard work; a lot of standing, sitting, bending, working in adverse conditions etc. I wouldn't trade a minute of it for anything because it's an absolute labor of love for me, but I could see how it would be difficult for an older guy. I hope it isn't for many, many years, and even then, perhaps just a shorter trip.

The other thing was that it's great to have a couple of good friends who you can laugh at and with until your sides hurt. There was a night on the deck where I was absolutely doubled over in laughter. At the same time, we took time to listen to each other and pray at every meal as well. I'm blessed to have friends like these and hope to have many more trips to the great white north with them.

Blogging off for now...

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