It looks as if the weather has finally decided to give us a break; at least for a while. If there is one thing that you can always count on as a true Minnesotan, it’s the weather and its importance in starting almost any conversation. There are many different ways to talk weather, but stating the obvious is always a sure bet. Most conversations start like this: nice day; yup, about time; yup, we needed the rain, but I think we’ve had enough, so it’s good to see the sun, yup.
Most folks are agreeable and willing to carry on their part of the conversation to some degree, but there are those who only see rain or bad weather ahead. A typical conversation with one of those folks may go something like this: nice day; it is now, but it’s supposed to get cloudy and rain all day tomorrow. So much for seizing the moment. Maybe I am too happy when starting out with a day that is sunny and bright and life seems good. I always believe in enjoying the moment and that tomorrow will bring whatever the man upstairs has in store for us.
I am looking forward to once again attending this year’s Governor’s Fishing Opener, which will be held on Big Sandy Lake near McGregor. The opener now falls on May 14, a week later than Mother’s Day. I enjoy looking back to Mother’s Days passed and remembering what my mom meant to me when I was growing up. I appreciate even more so, some of the things that she taught me about enjoying the outdoors. She was the one who encouraged me to go fishing whenever I could and she also taught me the basics of fishing along with some of those handy little tricks I still use today. While growing up I didn’t have a lot of fancy fishing equipment – just hook, line and sinker, so to speak. When I started fishing I used a cane pole and even before that I’d use a throw line. That is what I always used when I’d ride my bike to “the mink farm” (Bancroft Bay Park) for a day of fishing and hanging out. We would catch a lot of nice bluegills and those big old yellow belly bullheads.
My dad worked six and sometimes seven days a week, so he had little recreational time to spend with me. In all reality he really wasn’t a fisherman by any stretch of the imagination, so Mom was my teacher. When Dad did have time off there were many Sunday afternoons when we’d go to St. Olaf or Beaver Lakes just so that we could enjoy a little picnic and I’d get to do some fishing. There were also some times when Dad would rent a pontoon and take Mom, my grandma and us out on St. Olaf Lake. I know my grandma just enjoyed the experience of a boat ride, but to my mom this was her opportunity to enjoy a much needed day of fishing.
As I got older I’d ride my bike to town to fish and Mom would usually greet me with enthusiasm when I came home with a stringer of fish, even though she was usually the one who had to clean them. There were a few of those times when the fish were on the stringer most of the day and were not in edible condition. That is when she would get a little upset and that is when she told me it was a waste of a valuable resource. She is the one who taught me about catch-and-release at a fairly young age. She was a special person and I’ve told the following story many times, but I always feel it’s worth repeating.
When I was growing up, there were so many questions that I’d want answered and at times I would worry about different things and there were also times when I wasn’t able to sleep. Mom would offer me this advice: “Pray, talk to God, and think of some fun place you would really like to be and go there; it works for me.” I have found that after all these years it still works for me too. Thanks Mom!
Until next time, it's a great time to get outdoors, wet a line whenever the opportunity arises and if you don't want to fish, just take a walk or ride your bike around the lake; it’s all good.
Please remember to keep our troops in your thoughts and prayers, for they are the reason that we are able to enjoy all the freedoms we have today.