Fishing trips are about more than fish caught

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fishing

Driving north through torrential downpours appeared to be blocking our route north with a wall of water but just when we needed it most the clouds separated and the spigot was shut.

Unfriendly flies

Fortunate and thankful, we bumped our way over final 17 miles or gravel and hardpack to the ramp. Once there, an expected virtual cloud of black flies greeted us like a pack of hungry wolves. Unfriendly insects are just part of the early summer northern wilderness and for the unprepared traveler, they can be brutal, painful and dangerous, to say the least.

Challenging water

Seven miles later of dodging channel markers, unseen rock shoals and floating debris later we arrived at the island, unpacked, enjoyed a dinner of venison helper and gave thanks for a safe journey. The week was a challenging set of days and evenings as far as fishing success goes.

The water levels, like Ohio’s, ranged from high to record high, covering many docks with several inches of water and washing shoreline driftwood and downed trees into drifting dangers for boaters.

Success

But, not to be denied, our group found and caught enough walleyes and pike to fill our bellies and test our tackle but nothing more.

“Nothing more” is only a measure of fish caught. There was, as always, so much more than catching fish.

Nighttime gatherings around the fireplace are special as the night sky filled with more stars than one can imagine. Shore lunches, harmless contests and afternoon conversations are filled with good fellowship and lots of kidding. It’s everything one could hope for.

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Mike Tontimonia has been writing weekly columns and magazine features about the outdoors for over 25 years, a career that continues to hold the same excitement for him as it did at the beginning. Mike is a retired educator, a licensed auctioneer and marketing consultant. He lives in Ravenna, Ohio and enjoys spending time at his Carroll County cabin. Mike has hunted and fished in several states and Canada from the Carolinas to Alaska and from Idaho to Delaware. His readers have often commented that the stories about his adventures are about as close to being there as possible. He is past president of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio and a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Mike is also very involved in his community as a school board member and a Rotarian.

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