Imagine waking up in the morning at Camp Fish. The sunrise is warming the insides of numerous knotty pine cabins nestled in tall pines, surrounded by 7 lakes, calling loons, and a gorgeous historic lodge. A glance at the lake provides the reflection of a new day full of fishing anticipation. The shimmering surface is of Long Lake just west of Walker, Mn.--the home of Camp Fish and dreams come true. Soon the bell tower rings sending the signal of the beginning of your day. A day full of immersion into the sport of freshwater fishing and the exposure to fishing knowledge you never new exsisted--the knowledge you need to become the most versitlie, successful, and consistant angler you aim to be. It doesnt matter if it's bass, walleye, crappies, pike, musky, perch, or whatever swims--you will learn how to catch them all under any condition using simple and at the same time complex formulas that tie all the behaviors and habits fish have together. Finally, you realize you are at Camp Fish--a place where anglers of all ages and skill levels can go and get a one of a kind, hands-on, fishing education experience for days or even a week at a time.
Starting back in 1983, Camp Fish anglers sent vibrations of fishing lures through the waters of the Leech Lake area all summer long. That was before the ice fishing boom--even the internet! Wow! Todays Camp Fish is striving to encompass the entire year--Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. Imagine going to "Camp Ice Fish"--living and learning hands on in comfort all of the ice fishing information you can swallow, using electronics, learning fish location, fine tuning presentations from a pool of fishing experts, professional anglers, professional fishing guides, and fishing industry icons. And don't forget the three square meals a day, classroom time, seminars, question and answer sessions--and of course--a minimum of four to five hours of actual fishing time (depending how many times you say "on more minute") to use what was just learned. Now apply that same concept to all of the open water seasons as well and throw in a few "specialty" weekends or sessions such as "Musky Mania", "Club Walleye", or "Bass Bonanza". These are the hardcore anglers dreams come true--36 hours of nothing but the fish you care about--hammered into your head all day and night---extreme fishing camps. Throw in a little relaxation, a campfire and some story swapping just for good measure. Sound like fun yet?
A few years ago the Camp Fish "family" had a reunion celebrating Camp Fish and the relationships and memories that were created for us (staff/family) and the campers. It was a week long reunion that consisted of well over a hundred of past Camp Fish staff (myself included) fishing the heck out of all of the lakes in the Walker area, visiting old haunts, finding new ones, and simply having a grand old time. Talkin' smack, sleepin on the floor, and fishing 14 hours a day (kinda like I do now..hmmm.) with old buddies made the week fly by! The week ended with appearances and speeches by Al and Ron Lindner, Camp Fish staff and campers. The best part was listening to the Lindners talk about all of the sacrifices they and their familys made to make Camp Fish a reality and also how difficult it was to finally have to close Camp Fish almost 20 years ago. Al's speech ended with the hopes that some how Camp Fish would be a reality again--along with his endorsement to do so.
Since that hot August day on the shores of Leech Lake, a group of us (Camp Fishers) have been searching for donations, sponsors, and have been working on a plan to bring Camp Fish back to life. It is coming together slowly but surely. The old Camp Fish grounds are available, we have verbal financial commitments, and people to help get it up and running. I have commited time and energy in trying to help out as much as possible (on top of my busy guide schedule)--but I know it's not enough. Not many days go by that I dont think of Camp Fish. It was/is that important to me to this day. So, this morning I decided to at least write a blog about Camp Fish to share with others what is happening. Any feed back, thoughts, ideas, or advice would be extremely valuable in helping the mission to bring Camp Fish back to life and teaching the great sport of fishing to anglers once again. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or http://www.minnesotaguideservice.com Happy Holidays and good fishing of course! Capt. Josh Hagemeister.