Just got back from a six day camping trip to the Boundary Waters (Minnesota)/Quetico (Canada) Wilderness area.
Over one million acres of pristine wilderness to explore and enjoy.
The trip started off kinda touchy, as after sleeping the first night in the outfitters bunkhouse, a night when frost hit the ground, I awoke with a sore throat.
"No way I'm going to let this screw up my vacation!"
Screw it, I'll let the sore throat ride... we're heading out.
Got towed out with our canoe and gear to the edge of the non-motorized wilderness area and we were off.
Beautiful day, 70 degrees, mild wind, great paddling weather.
Within 5 minutes I had hooked into a 6 pound lake trout on my third cast of the day (rapala tail-dancer). I landed him by hand quite cleanly and quietly (no easy task in a canoe), and observed that he had four hooks of my lure's two trebles hooked into him rather solidly. I laid him quietly into the bottom of the canoe. However, this laker had that quality which in humans one would call a certain mischievous patience. He bided his time. I unzipped my pack and grabbed my forceps in order to remove the hooks, at which point the lake trout decided to have what is generally described as a "koniption fit". With the fish flopping about at seeming light speed, I reached to secure the wiley bastard to the canoe's kevlar bottom. Even as I reached, I knew this fish was trouble.
With lightining speed, his final spinning flop imbedded a treble hook completely through the lower, palm-side knuckle of my middle right finger.
Panic, (expletive), shooting pain, (expletive), panic... (expletive)... STOP... THINK!
I don't know how, but within seconds, I somehow secured the vindictive bastard and managed to remove the hooks from his fishy body (all the while still having this six pound lake shore denizen inextricably hooked to the middle of my right hand).
I'm absolutely sure he silently laughed his liitle trout laugh the whole time and was thinking, "how does it feel, a-hole?"
Now, I had a crank-bait hanging from my hand, a canoeing partner sitting behind me freaking out a little, and a lake trout who seemingly just meted out a little poetic justice.
My first reactions...
I'm alright, this doesn't hurt too bad, gotta get this fish back in the water.
I knew we had a good 4 hours of paddling and two hours portaging yet to get to our campsite... so I also knew we were not going to have this fish on our menu for the evening.
I released him with the tail-dancer still hanging from my hand with a hearty "enjoy your life, you (expletive), you're a worthy opponent. (expletive) you!"
So that's the first twenty minutes of the trip...
Fishing was pretty good though. More to come.
Note: With the barb of the hook fully passed through the inside of the knuckle, I had to use my knife to cut the skin back and extract the hook. Yeeeeouch.
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."