The first few weeks of July, before berry season is in full swing, seems to be the time of year when the call of the lake and the boat are most answered. For the last week or so, we've been heading down the lake nearly every night to spend an hour or so at sunset dropping ciscos on weighted lines into the lake's depths and drifting across a reef, waiting for the big one to bite.
Although there are also walleye and bass (et al) in the lake, I've always gone lake trout fishing with Andy. Every time we're out, we get plenty of nibbles, even a fair amount of "robbed" hooks, but during the summer months, I've never seen a fish at the end of my line. (During the winter, I've caught a couple "waterbottle" sized baby lake trout that have gotten thrown back.)
Honestly, I'd started to wonder if this fishing stuff was some really long-winded practical joke Andy was pulling on me. "We never catch any fish," I grumbled to a neighbor who asked after our fishing success on Saturday morning.
But on Saturday evening as we bobbed about, I felt three sharp tugs on my line. I opened my bail, let the fish run with the bait, then yanked up to set the hook and started reeling. When Andy glanced over, his eyes grew wide. "You've got a big fish on there." I'd never landed a fish before and had no idea that when the line makes a terrible cranking noise you should stop reeling and let the fish do its own thing for a bit before reeling some more. With some instruction from Andy, I got the fish to the surface. Andy netted the 4-6 lb beauty and brought it in the boat to inspect.
I had no idea there was so much meat on a fish. We grilled it up on Sunday evening and I made a simple rice pilaf out of the leftovers yesterday that we'll be eating on for a good long time. I'd always thought trout tasted too "fishy", but this particular "landlocked salmon" was pretty darn tasty.
This is probably the only trout we'll keep all year. They're such slow growing, long-lived beasts that it seems only fair that the vast majority of them spend their days down in the dark, cool lake water.
Moral of the story? Don't stop complaining.You never know how a well-timed grumble might be answered.