Another Ontario fishing trip had me FIT to be tied

In fishing, they say that repetition leads to perfection.

If that’s true, then I’ve got to be getting pretty close to perfect at getting loose from snags on rocks, trees, logs and weeds after all our years of fishing in Canada.

Last week we were back at Big Hook Wilderness Camps, the fly-in fishing resort my wife’s brother and sister-in-law own in far northwest Ontario.

I’ve been there at least half a dozen times over the years and one thing has pretty much remained consistent. I’m usually far and away the best at catching the biggest — the biggest weeds, sticks, logs and rocks, that is.

When once a week every other year or so is the only time you ever go fishing, that’s probably to be expected — but sometimes I think I go above and beyond.

I do have to say that I am perfecting my skills at getting loose from those various snags. Each time we go up there, at least, I sacrifice fewer and fewer lures, jigs and what not to all those underwater hazards.

In fact, I’m getting pretty good at bringing in the big ones.

On our very first day of fishing, I manage to land a real whopper, a good 36 inches long at least, if not longer. And believe me, that stick put up quite a battle before I was finally able to reel it in — and I didn’t even have to use the net to bring it home.

I had Terry get a picture of me with my trophy stick before I threw it back. They have a catch-andrelease policy in those parts — after all, all those mighty trees up there have to start out somehow, and I’m looking forward to my next battle a few years from now when my trophy stick has grown up into a nice, respectable log.

With my trophy catch out of the way right off the bat, the pressure was off me for the rest of the week and I could work on honing my techniques.

It’s a big lake we were on, with plenty of weeds, trees and rocks for me to practice on — which I did.

I think I’m close to ready to move on to the professional circuit — they’ve got them for bass, walleye, musky, billfish, sailfish, even tuna, why not weeds, sticks and rocks? You never see anything like that in In- Fisherman magazine.

Of course, my wife insists that I’m nowhere near an In-Fisherman. In fact, she persists in telling everyone that I’m more like a “Fisherman-in-training.”

Never mind that, thanks to our many fishing trips to Ontario as well as other outings, I figure I’ve got the equivalent of at least a week full of fishing, 24/7, under my belt.

Never mind that I’ve probably caught hundreds of fish by now — if you count anything in three figures as hundreds.

She still won’t let me graduate from “Fisherman-in-training.”

Apparently, to her at least, it’s an appellation I’m going to bear for the rest of my life. I could retire now and spend every single waking hour of every single day of the rest of my life fishing, non-stop, and I would still be a “Fisherman-in-training” according to her.

I could catch a world-record walleye, or a world-record Northern pike, or even Moby Dick or the Loch Ness monster, and it still wouldn’t change a thing for her.

For instance, there have been a couple of our fishing trip where I’ve caught the biggest fish, not here, but it seems that makes no difference.

There were a few days on this trip — and usually at least one day on our earlier trips — when I’ve caught more fish than her, but it seems that makes no difference.

So I just have to settle for becoming a master un-snagger and hope that counts for something — although I’m sure it’s not enough to graduate from “Fisherman-in-training” status.

I do have to say that I did catch some fish on this trip — nothing to match my trophy stick, mind you, but at least a few of the walleye and Northern that we brought home with us came off my rod.

She got the bigger ones this time around, but only by an inch or two. And the Northern I had on one day was probably the biggest one either of us caught all week, but after a 10-minute battle it threw the hook just before we could get it in the net.

That’s right, the biggest one of the week for me was the one that got way. Just telling that kind of story alone should be enough to earn me something better than “Fisherman-in-training,” I would think.

NEXT WEEK: Summer is a one-week thing in northern Ontario.

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