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Revised 1 January 2011

GONE FISHING

The one thing my parents both loved to do, more than anything else, was to go fishing. The men in the first photo are not relatives. The man to your immediate left was the owner of the lodge where we went fishing. The gentleman to the right was Eddie Hoegh, uncle of the governor of Iowa and a very dear friend of the family. The lady in both photos is my mom and those are the fish we caught.

Two months after that first photo was taken, we received a new advertising brochure from the owner of the lodge. The fish were the ones that mother and I caught. The men caught very few on that trip. The man asked mother if the guys could hold our fish for a photo and then used that shot on his advertisement. Mother was absolutely furious and we never went back to that camp again.

However, that is not the funniest thing that happened on that trip. Our friend, Eddie, liked to try his luck casting off from the shore, in a style similar to trout fishing. He would walk along the beach and throw out his line, then slowly reel it in. He had stopped on this particular occasion and was gazing off absent-minded into the beautiful sunset. He suddenly felt a warm flow of water oozing into his boot and thought his boot had sprung a leak but further investigation showed that the little son of the owner of the camp was standing there peeing into his boot. Needless to say, Eddie was not amused. When asked by his father why he would do such a thing, the little boy innocently looked at his father and told him, "I don't like that man."

Dad's favorite type of fishing pole was the good old fashioned cane pole. Dad would sit for hours with a cane pole with the good old red bobber floating on the water, and be sound asleep, but the minute the bobber went under, he usually woke up immediately. On one occasion, however, he took a brand new fly-reel pole with him to the lake and fell asleep as usual. He woke up just in time to see his bobber--pole and all, bobbing its way to the middle of the lake and then disappearing under the water and there wasn't a darned thing he could do about it. That was obviously the one that got away.

On another occasion, Dad, Eddie, another friend by the name of Glen Coon saved up their money to take a portage trip into Canada. When they arrived, they flew in by seaplane to a remote camp and set up headquarters. Now Eddie's last name is actually pronounced something like hoe-egg, but the camp director thought it was hog. Our last name was Pickrel, which is a fish, and Eddie's last name was Coon. When they went to sign in, the director thought they were pulling his leg and demanded that they all show ID to prove the names were real. That was the trip where Eddie learned to walk on water.

The guys had been fishing for several hours and decided to pull in to shore to cook the fish they had caught. They had set up their campfire and were just sitting back to enjoy the wonderful smell of the fresh cooking fish when they heard a roar behind them. It was a huge wild bear, just a few feet away, and standing up on its hind legs. The four of them (including their guide) made like a river and ran--as fast as their legs would carry them, back to the boat, and all managed to jump in except Eddie, who was the push off man, being the last one in. Dad said that Eddie ran so fast in pushing the boat off of the shore that he was several feet across the lake before he finally realized he was on the water and then he was in the ice cold water and being dragged into the boat to safety. The canoe, however, ultimately tipped over, dropping all of their brand new fishing tackle to the bottom of the lake and by the time they finally got into the boat and out of the freezing cold water and paddling home, they had lost all of the contents of the boat. As they glided away from the bear, now enjoying his freshly cooked feast, they looked sadly down into the crystal cold water and watched as all of their wonderful, bright, shiny new stuff glistened back at them from the bottom of the lake.

I can think of several other wonderful fishing trips we made over the years, but these were the most entertaining of the bunch.