You never hear someone say they have catching a bass on their bucket list. Or a walleye, and even a pike is rare. But I can tell you that every year I have people show up here to catch the musky or the monster musky that has eluded them their whole life. It happened again last week and it was indeed a special trip.
When Craig Mason called from Whistler BC to set up this special trip for his Scottish Uncle all I had to do was tell him my last name is Anderson and I was sitting in front of a whole bunch of bottles with ‘Glen’ in their name while I was talking to him. We had one day to get the job done and we would need all of it too.
What a boat of characters we were; a steelhead addicted entrepreneur from Whistler, a severely addicted pike chaser from Scotland, a (famous) tattoo artist named Scoot from Toronto, and a musky guide. Three eccentrics there at least so you know it is going to be a good day right off the bat.
And right off the bat it was. After a detailed lesson on how we were going to catch our fish at the side of the boat today and how critical the last 10 feet of your cast are in order to accomplish this we started casting. I usually conclude this lesson by saying that no matter what I have said to you a giant fish or maybe just a giant open mouth will show up at your feet and scare you enough that you will stumble, stutter, or scream like a girl. On the first spot and after a series of Scottish adjectives (some of which I knew from my days as a proud Glen’s Falcon and some of which I just inherently knew weren’t positive) about how big and heavy the lures were it happened on cue. ‘Holy place several incoherent heavy brogued adjectives here’. We all turned to see Uncle Robert with his lure safely out of the water staring into the water and now on a rambling mumble ‘I can’t believe the size of that thing’ that he looped like a KT Tunstall riff (my favourite Scotch drinking kick butt rhythem goddess). I love when the Ottawa River giants do that to newbies. It is one of those things in life that you just have to see to believe.
After the laughter subsided and we dried the tears we again went over the finish with special emphasis on the ‘it is going to happen so be ready, breathe deep, don’t stutter even a little bit on your figure 8s, and keep going after you see the fish because after you lost sight of it she probably didn’t go far’ part.
Fast forward to late in the second half of our day. We were 0 for 15. We were on one of those rare days where the muskies went all day, put teeth on baits, wanted in the boat, and we had a donut. I would like to express deep and sincere gratitude to fish number 16 because without her willingness to show up and get her picture taken a dream may have died and a musky guide would be left talking to himself through another sleepless night of what the hecks.
As it was we were able to take a picture for the ages of a man who traveled thousands of miles to chase a bucket list dream fish in the presence of his distant nephews. Uncle Bob declared at the end of the day that it was one of the greatest fishing days of his long and illustrious fishing career. It was a day that none of us will ever forget. It was special beyond words.
Often the best part of life is about the learning, the people, and the journey that goes along with the pursuit of something that is truly hard to get. This is musky fishing. Four men worked all day as hard as they could for one fish and felt perfect in the end. Can you say ‘brilliant’ in your best Scottish accent.
Check out www.scootink.ca to see what Scoot does. I am not a tatt guy myself but after seeing his work he is a true artist and has me thinking about that musky again. BTW, he was heading out after we got off the water to go and do Rhianna’s boyfriends head. If I wasn’t a musky guide I would probably know who that was but I own a TV that gets one channel and chase muskies almost every waking minute half the year and am really happy I DO NOT know his name. Still, it sounds like a great reference to me along with most of the Raptors and some Leafs
Check out Uncle Robert (Mason) on his youtube channel or his blog. HUGE followings for a reason.
John M. Anderson
We produce BIG fish!!
be good, do good, live well
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