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Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



I got to see a picture today of a young ladies very first northern pike today. What a great catch and although might not be considered a lunker, reminded me of just why fishing is so fun for young people.

The first remembrance I have of going fishing was with my folks when I was young. We trudged over the fence back to "Walkers pond"?, which was built as demonstration for the plowing match. I don't remember much about it, other than the pond was stock full of bullheads and that we were warned not to play with their whiskers. I remember another time with my Grandparents fishing at a lake up by Jefferson, but not being able to sit still long enough to catch anything.

Fishing with the folks or grandparents always seemed to remind me of being in the barn with Dad. It was a time you could talk about anything and not really have to say a word if you didn't want to, because as we all know fish don't bite if you are talking.

Working a summer at Camp, I was given the task of fishing camp counselor for a group of second grade boys. We get up every morning at the crack of dawn and go down to the lake to fish. We never caught a thing the first three days of the camp, but I do remember that there was a young boy named Peter who spent the first few days of camp with a severe case of homesickness. There were times when I wondered if we would have to send him home, but I tried my best to keep him involved and to make sure I kept a closer eye on him. The fourth day of camp we struck gold. It was a young man who hooked into a nice sized Northern and was almost overcome with joy over not only catching a fish at camp, but his very first fish ever.

I'm not sure who was more excited about catching that fish, him or the rest of the gang of boys who clamored around him to touch it. The last day of camp I took the boys up to the top of Big Spirit to a little secret spot I knew where the bullheads bit at any shiny piece of metal on a string and they fished until there arms were tired of casting. But more importantly that day we did something that I'm sure made their parents wonder what we were doing at camp. The secret spot was along a lonely stretch of pavement on the Iowa/Minnesota boarder and so I stopped the van, we all piled out on the shoulder and then walked to the other side of the road. We found a spot for a shore lunch there and wrote home postcards saying that the camp counselors had made them walk to Minnesota which the boys thought was the coolest thing ever.

As for Peter, well he came up to me the last day of camp with his Mom and introduced me to her as "his best friend"?. I later found out from his mom that this was the first time he'd ever been away from home, and the first time he'd ever spoken of another man as highly as he did me. I've often wondered what happened to him. He wrote me a couple of times after that summer and would be about 18 now. Hopefully he'll grow into a fine young man and take someone else who needs a friend fishing. Because, as you know, sometimes fishing isn't about just catching fish, but sometimes it's about catching a break or finding someone to care and just maybe helping someone in the long run.

See you next week..Remember, we're all in this together.