Dick Pinney's Guide Lines: It was a fishing trip that was meant to be
But Lady Luck seems to follow Kyle and his great-granddad often. An email from a person we had never met, charter captain Bill Van Wormer from Pulaski, N.Y. (in the famous Lake Ontario area) was sent to alert me that an old friend out there, Neil Duell (his outdoor writing name was “Old Hickory”) had passed away. We'd never known Bill Van Wormer but we had Googled him to find more about his very interesting life and found my name entwined with much of his information. This was because we had hosted “Hick,” as we often called him, on several adventures to New Brunswick, Canada.
In his email, Captain Van Wormer told us that he'd been having a lot of great fishing out of Oswego Harbor on Lake Ontario for brown trout and some really big king salmon had showed up well in advance of their regular arrival.
On a hunch that he might be able to bail me out of my Kyle problem, we asked Captain Bill if he had any charter openings for the next week. “I've been booked every day this week but only have one booking next week and that is on Friday,” he answered.
So we took a chance with him and set up fishing date for that next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
It took my GPS to find his Captain Bill's Lodge and we were very much impressed when we met him at his office next door and he gave us a short tour.
The next day the wind was blowing hard but Captain Bill suggested that if we didn't mind, he'd fish but stay inside the breakwalls at the Oswego Harbor, where he had his boat docked. That was no decision. We were there to fish and we accepted quickly.
There were about a dozen other boats doing the same thing and occasionally boating small brown trout. We stuck it out for about six hours, landing three brown trout that were in the two to three pound range, impressive to Kyle but not the kind of fish that we had in mind.
“Tomorrow's the pick of the week, weather wise,” Bill told us as he left us at the lodge. “If we get outside the harbor, and it looks like the weather will allow that, we should hit some great fishing for not just brown trout. We've been catching some big king salmon almost every time out.”
Bill was right. The next day the sun was out and the lake had calmed down and we were into some huge brown and lake trout, fish to more than 10 pounds. Bill kept searching for the king salmon, going into deeper water and around mid-morning we had our first king hit and Kyle had quite a time with it as Bill's gear was very light.
Kyle had plenty of experience fishing for big stripers and handled his job well.
We ended the day keeping four huge brown trout, three lake trout almost as large and three big king salmon, all well over 10 pounds and one over 15 pounds.
A big storm swept across Lake Ontario that night so our three day-trip was cut to two days, but any more fishing would have been anti-climatic. Three anglers were on the road home that morning with memories to last forever. And as a bonus to the fishing, that night we had seven anglers check into the lodge from New Hampshire, two of them grandsons of Jane's and my best friends, the late Arthur and Annette Groves of Concord. We had never met these young men but had always wanted to.
Email Dick Pinney at DoDuckInn@aol.com.
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