A Soldier Story – Don Meisner IS Dorion Gray!!

Remember in the 70s when we all went from 3 to 13 to a mind boggling 21 channels on our televisions? Ok, me either. We’ve killed a lot of grey cells, haven’t we…

What I do remember very clearly is watching PBS out of Watertown. Bill Saif hosted Rod and Reel and Don Meisner hosted Rod and Reel Stream Side. In a world that didn’t have very many fishing shows on TV this was awesome entertainment and education. Learning was different back then.

Five weeks ago I received a call and was given the opportunity to film the first ever Canadian episode of Fishing Behind the Lines. The host – none other than Don Meisner who was a childhood hero to me.

Fishing Behind the Lines is an wonderful venture that takes combat experienced soldiers out for a special fishing experience. The show is about the soldier and his or her life representing their country. The program is in its second season and has done so much good for so many already. It is a privilege to be associated with it.

Don Meisner is Dorion Gray. Somewhere in his attic is a picture of him that looks really really old because Don is still 100% Don of old. Getting to spend time with Don was amazing. The guy is a walking factory of, niceness, giving, and positive energy. He is a great listener and an empathetic man to the hardships many soldiers face when they return from standing for good and right on our behalf across the world. I am proud to call Don Meisner my new friend.

This show was about another new friend I met a year ago in the dark as we went out to night fish for muskies. Steph Martin inspired me from the moment I put a musky rod into his hand for the first time. Steph Martin is a Canadian veteran who was wounded in the Bosnian conflict and a man I am pleased to call my friend.

Hearing the plight of our wounded warriors from both sides of the border was personally very eye opening. Coming home wounded is a tough road to hoe and since we send them to places the rest of us don’t want to go on our behalf we owe it to them to look after them when they get hurt. To me it’s that simple. It seems like we haven’t done enough for so many of our veterans and it is unacceptable. Hopefully this is changing and people like Don Meisner who create opportunities to help and give back are angels.

I also want to thank Larry Lambourne and Ross Nicholls for taking Steph, Don, and Andrew our cameraman out for a second day on the water. These Canadian veterans are among the finest people I know and with their help we were able to make a special first Canadian episode of Fishing Behind the Lines. Don caught muskies both days out on the water and Steph landed his biggest fish ever with a 38-inch pike.

To any ex-military people reading this, Don started a musky day for veterans in upstate New York last August that was a huge success and will now become an annual tradition. We have already inspired a number of Canadian vets to attend next year. If this is of interest to you please write me and I will put you in touch with Don to make it happen.

Isn’t life wonderful……


Thank you everyone.


John M. Anderson
We produce BIG fish!!

be good, do good, live well

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