Le 12 août 2008, par trout whisperer
Mid boat belongs to a 13 year old boy, the bow perch paid for by his father. the kid is quiet, polite, and very sleepy faced. i got them all up country early.
the previous evenings frost has everything dew covered. i can tell the young son wants a nap but hes not sure about lying down in the dampness of the boat. i offer boat cushions and extra life jackets to create a nest, he refuses. again his very respectful.
an older kid would pop off verbally. a younger boy would jump at the chance. he’s mid boat, betwixt and between.
we run up lake into what i think is refreshingly crisp air. the father is hunkering in an expensive pro hooded sweatshirt. the son shivers once so i cut the motor. this time i don’t ask ,i take my coat off and tell him to put it on. when i get the boat up to speed hes coming alive. hes not cold and starting wake up inside.
he asks me what all the weeds are along the far shoreline and i tell him that’s three miles of soon to be ripe wild rice. i get a head nod of understanding. i cut the motor and we drift into the miles of stumps. his dad wants to know where on Gods green earth we are. i said to his dad, were right here. almost half a grin from a boy in a mans jacket.
i bet the kid a candy bar. whoever caught the first fish would get paid by the other two. he said it wasn’t a fair bet . your a fishing guide and my dad has gone lots of times. i told him to man up and take the bet. he did.
i rigged his line and tossed it over. the dad was getting the better end of some chocolate donuts and some steamy coffee so i dropped my line. when i looked up the lad was reeling for all he was worth. no noise no asking for dads help. he was focused and playing what turned out to be a 1lb 8 ounce black backed crappie.
i could see he was happy. so was his dad. the camera caught all the fish and son with a maze of flooded timber. it should have been a video, the little boy just shot into manhood. he didn’t boast or brag. no bravado about a candy bar bet i bullied him into.
we caught walleyes, crappies, northern and perch. we saw an otter playing and not one but three whitetail deer swim across an open bay. the day was a real gem. i get lucky once in awhile too. kids like that make me feel good about the future. i thanked his father when he paid me and shook his hand. i grabbed juniors mitt and shook his hand, i didn’t tussle his hair or make some witty clever old man joke because he earned it. i gave him a candy bar for the same reason. the trout whisperer
par trout whisperer