Posted: Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Since I grew up in Wisconsin I grew accustomed to a whole lot different fishing than we are generally accustomed to here in Alaska. I have spent a lot of time fishing nearly every species of fish that is found in the upper Midwest. Crappies, bluegills, sunfish, perch, bass, northern-pike, walleye pike, bullheads, and musky’s were some of the more popular fish found on our table. It really did not matter if we fished in the summer or winter as long as we had fresh fish to eat.

Since I have spent the past 13 years here in Alaska my son Travis has not had the opportunity to fish for those above mentioned species other than northern pike here in Alaska. This summer I am taking him on a trip to Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin so we can retrace some of the footprints I made while fishing in those states. We will have a custom topper made for my F-350 truck and tow my 20 ft. Wooldridge and all of our gear.

After fishing in the above mentioned states we will travel to Lake Powell in Utah and spend a week fishing there where Grandpa Wagner will once again rent three house boats for the whole Wagner clan. It might be the last of a quiet fishing trip for Travis and I who fully intend on fishing very hard along the way. Following a week at Lake Powell we will head north and fish the Columbia River in Washington for walleyes if time permits. Hopefully, we will be back in time to go dip netting on the Kenai River.

I don’t know who is more excited about this trip Travis or myself but I do know I am really looking forward to showing my son the places I fished prior to moving to Alaska. I plan on camping along the Eau Claire River for a few days and fishing small mouth bass, walleyes, and Musky’s. As a young man, I once went fishing in the Eau Claire River all but one day in an 8 week period. Bad thunderstorms prevented me from fishing one day.

Seeing the water explode as a huge Musky comes out of the water after a top water bait is a thrill you almost have to see to be able to fully enjoy it. Feel the distinguishing bite of a walleye nibbling light on the tail of a night crawler as you slowly work it along the bottom of a rock ledge, knowing that if you set the hook now you’re not going to hook the fish but only pull it further from him. You continue to work the jig real slowly until you feel the sudden thump on your pole. You know this time Mr. Walleye is hooked and the fight is on.

Just sitting along the Missouri River and fishing with live bait for catfish, walleyes and white bass is very leisurely fishing and very relaxing to say the least. There is just something about going back home and fishing like we used to that makes everything just so much more exciting. And now to have the chance to show my young son how I used to fish makes it extra special for me.

Travis is a diehard fisherman and a great traveling partner. I’m sure you all have had some traveling partners that were not very pleasant once you traveled a few miles with them. Those people who you can’t wait to drop off once the trip is over because they almost drove you nuts. Traveling this time with only Travis will make this trip even more special.

I encourage all of you parents out there to spend more quality time with your children. Take the time to do this as the clock of life just keeps ticking away. I know I will never forget our up-coming trip and I am sure Travis won’t either. Don’t always put these special trips off, take time to enjoy life and your children while they are still at home. It is these trips that build a good foundation to a great relationship with your children.

What good will huge bank accounts do you if you fall over dead without ever having a chance to enjoy the money you earned and saved? Isn’t it time you shock your family and finally take some time off and go on a vacation of some type? Show the whole family just how much you really do care about them by actually doing something really fun this year.

By the time I get back you will be able to question my son Travis about just how badly this old guy whipped him fishing! After that comment and knowing just how competitive he is, I might just have to hide his fishing pole to have a chance!

See You next week!

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