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A-fishing we did go, four very good fishermen left early Friday morning, May 20, for a week on Leech Lake, Walker, MN. 

Who were these four fine fishermen? Bob Goetz from Austin, Bob Hanson from Albert Lea, Gary Oliver from Fairmont and Paul Proft from Owatonna, that’s who.

We stayed at the Blue Water Lodge on Leech Lake, just south of Walker off Highway 371 (this was our fourth year staying there). Just like previous years, the service was excellent. Amy, the general manager, and Steve, her gifted right hand, know what “Minnesota Nice” means. (Yes, we have a reservation for the same week next year.)

With the electronic instant weather forecast to tell us when it would or wouldn’t rain, we managed to not get caught in the rain while fishing. The same device told us of coming high wind velocity—thus, we didn’t get caught in a high wind while fishing.

A typical day was a light breakfast, fish ‘til lunch, play cribbage, donate to the casino reservation, evening meal, fish ‘til 9 p.m., play cribbage, end of the day.

Bob and Bob were the cribbage partners with bragging rights on their expert playing. One of the four did quite well at the casino. Due to his CEO spouse who would want a cut of his winnings, no name will be mentioned in this column.

Bob Goetz won the award for catching the only loon (it swam underwater and took his minnow, getting hooked in the process). He treated the biting loon as a catch-and-release, along with about 18 inches of his line. Bob Goetz also, along with the help of a northern, donated blood (in the process of taking the fish off his hook, the northern caused a deep gash in his finger, thus bleeding, and bleeding, and then bleeding some more). 

A mama red fox with one baby visited us twice (this was while we were in the cabin). Many adult eagles were seen while we were fishing. An interesting event every evening was the performance of the local croakers just off the deck at the cabin. They sang that old ballad, “A froggy went a’courtin’ he would go, a-huh, a-huh.”

Gary took the honor of being the best fisherman of the four of us. 

How was fishing? Each of us caught a walleye in excess of 20 inches that legally must be released. The crappies were not biting—we caught two. Bob Goetz caught the only turtle. Everyone caught at least two northerns. The best part of fishing was not having to worry about exceeding our take-home limit.

In summary, as fishermen, we have gone from a rating of very good to good!


Bob is a retired AAL (Aid Association for Lutherans) agent, currently working on his master’s degree in Volunteering. His wife, Genie, is a retired RN, currently working on her doctor’s degree in Volunteering. They have two children, Deb in North Carolina, and Dan in Vermont. Bob says if you enjoy his column, let him know. If you don’t enjoy it, keep on reading, it can get worse. Words of wisdom: There is always room for God.

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