His smile.

  • Blog Post by: Karl Seckinger
  • April 5, 2012 - 1:32 PM
Every fish the guy catches he smiles. His face brightens and the grin is infectious even after an uncountable number of fish. He hauls another up and beams, we look like pie faced idiots smiling right back at him. Never has he seen such a day and almost every fish he asks “how long will this last”, “I said we might make it one more hour, but then the bait will run out”. He asks with all these fish, why don’t more people come here. I said if you don’t tell anybody that would help, but I also told him the amount of effort and no motors really trim back the crowds. The guy is in his mid forties and he can recall as a kid catching bullheads occasionally from muddy lakes in central Iowa. Now with a recent job transfer he thinks he has truly found heaven on earth, as a pair watching him, almost simultaneously we just tell him, he’s in Gods country now. With one of my kayaks he floated over some rocks about seven feet deep and he marvels at the water clarity we have long since taken for granted. I think from his lips I heard this is awesome, or this is amazing, to a mind numbing degree. Another fish, another smile. In between baiting, catching, paddling and enjoying, he can’t wait until the rest of his family is up north. The 13 yr old son, wait till I get him out here, his youngest girl will be thrilled and he owns a boat that has sat idle for years, and now knows, that an old desire will certainly be rekindled. His wife will eat fish that didn’t come from a grocery store. If the lake wasn’t generous enough, a beaver slapped his tail at him and three otter’s maybe an hour after we arrived whiffed and chirped at all of us they cruised the same piece of water. Loons echoes’ resounded from a nearby bay and the bugs weren’t anywhere to be seen or heard. When we finally ran out of bait, we paddled around an island with the full moon ghosting through a white cedar swamp. At the landing he told us how he had read on more than one occasion how scenic northern Minnesota was. Had heard of our famous ten thousand lakes. Lusted after a day like we just had. He made me feel a bit guilty about what I had at times, taken for granted. He said when he would tell his wife and kids about the lake today and the fishing, all he could use would be the word majestic. I had to agree. All three of us, our backs were sore. Me and my buddy griped, He said it was worth every second of it. Then he just stared back at the lake surface. It was quite a sight to be sure. Clouds in the west looked like somebody tossed a bottle of soft red wine in them. A lake surface so still it was akin to a stretched plastic film wrap across three miles of open water. He turns to me and my buddy, shakes both out hands, smiles, thanks us yet again. I said if you’re just that happy, you can clean all the fish. He just smiled. The trout whisperer.

© 2018 Star Tribune