We'll be heading to Lake Ontario sometime within a week or so and this is more than just a fishing trip. It's a reunion of sorts with the Three Musketeers and The Junior Musketeer. And the unique thing about this reunion is that we're being hosted by Junior.
For several years, especially during the time when we had coho salmon jamming our coastal waters and the Great Bay watershed from early July to well into the fall, Brad Conner, Tom Connors and myself were out there at every little bit of time we could squeeze out of what we were supposed to be doing to chase the coho. This was once the most magnificent fishing that our state had to offer and we were just transfixed by it.
Our Junior Musketeer, Jim Ordershook from the Manchester area, was taking in by us older guys by absorption. He was out there just about as much, if not more than we were and we were just as impressed with his fishing prowess as he was with ours, so a friendship was formed that was precious and wasn't impacted for years, until the destruction (we have no other way of describing it) of the coho program by NH Fish and Game.
But we stuck together, as we moved our fishing efforts to the incredible trout and salmon fishing in New York State's Lake Ontario, and Jim, who was just as drawn to it as we were, more than not was part and parcel of most of our trips there.
Slowly but surely Jim transitioned into an independent and very skilled angler and his boat were getting larger and larger. And this was kind of the beginning of two trends. One that he was usually fishing in his own boat, instead of with one of us in our boats and secondly more and more people were fishing with Jim in his ever-larger boats, until it became evident that Jim was being treated like a charter boat captain and it was his duty to man the helm and everyone on boat except for him got to actually fish.
Then Jim did the normal thing. He sold his boat and got out of the involuntary fishing charter business and actually quite fishing for several years.
But he did leave us his son, Justin, to spoil with our waterfowl hunting. Justin got hooked on it the first time we had him up to the DoDuckInn camp in northern Maine for a waterfowl hunt and some fun camp life.
Because JR, as I like to call him, was getting tied up more and more in his landscaping business and also being hooked on snowmobile turf racing, we got to see him less and less, with him not coming to camp in the last couple of years. We can't tell you how much the seniors in our group miss him. Losing both JR and his dad, Jim, from our hunting/fishing time was kind of a hard thing to swallow as they both were a huge part of our tradition.
Well times do change and thank the Good Lord for that. We happened to send Jim an email telling him that we were planning a trip to Lake Ontario some time in April and we'd love to have him join us for a few days. A return phone all from him relayed his invitation for us to join him and friends on Lake Ontarion about the same time we'd planned on going. Jim had rented a huge camp in the Oswego area and he already had a room assigned for Brad, Tom and me.
Also we were told not to bring a boat as there were going to be at least two boats there and that we were going to be treated as visiting royalty. You kinda gotta love that talk.
So there we'll all be, happy as can be and not caring if the fish bit or not, except for the fact that Lake Ontario's worst fishing is mostly better than New Hampshire's best. Except for the past when those great coho salmon were here.
It's probably about 15 years the last time the four of us were together. You can bet that won't happen again, again the good Lord willing.
Drop us an email at DoDuckInn@aol.com and we'll see you out there.