Of all mistakes that can be made in advance of fishing-trip departures, forgetting one’s Mickey Mouse rod is the most grievous. Yet that’s what occurred when Tyler Albersman joined his family’s annual pilgrimage to Lake Vermilion.
Tyler is 3 years old. Whether it was his fault that his beloved fishing stick was left behind at the family home in Minnetonka, or rather the responsibility of his parents, Pat and Shanna Albersman, might be debated for years. Who knows? Perhaps in the end, Tyler’s little brother, Grant, age 5 months, will be scapegoated for the misdeed, and the whole lot of them will end up on Dr. Phil, at loggerheads.
Fortunately, Grandpa and Grandma — Dave and Deb Albersman of Golden Valley — tagged along.
“We were staying at Muskego Point Resort on Lake Vermilion,” Grandpa Dave said. “Because Tyler’s rod was forgotten, I fashioned a fishing pole for him from a tree branch, tying on a 4-foot line, a jig, and a pencil bobber.”
Whether other 3-year-old anglers passed by Tyler in fancy metal-flaked boats holding their Disney-themed rods aloft in triumph while Tyler did his hillbilly thing on the dock is unknown. What is known is that Tyler is a fish magnet, and that sunfish soon impaled themselves on his baited hook, one after another.
Such stories of conquest over adversity often are granted, with time, the patina of legend; witness Santiago’s heroics in Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea” and the equally timeless adventures of Melville’s Captain Ahab.
Yet Tyler would do these pretenders better. For his bobber would plunge to the depths of Lake Vermilion one final time.
“It was a northern!” Grandpa Dave reports. “Tyler and I were paralyzed by the size of the fish. His dad grabbed the line and started to pull the fish in, quickly netting it as Tyler dropped the pole!”
Like smoke, the story of Tyler’s 27-inch monster soon enveloped the resort’s nine cabins, and he was heralded therefrom as few anglers are, whether 3 years old or many multiples of that age.