Nightmares of Esox Lucius have haunted me since our failed excursion to Dog Lake Flooding a year ago. Oh we made it to the lake Ok which was an adventure in itself, but the missing esox still weighs heavy since I had sold my buddies on the sort of monsters you only see on Canada fishing youtubes. Were they in there but refusing all manner of spinnerbaits and lures? Not likely is all I can figure. Maybe a freeze out of the shallow lake destroyed the population. It couldn’t have been fished out since you almost have to parachute in. Three men in three kayaks working the shores could not convince a pike to attack in three hours. Three, three, three, does that ring sinister?
So we failed miserably and as the organizer I was grateful they did not leave me in that remote god forsaken bog. But the experience left me with an itch unrelated to the oak and ivy which has been germinating for well nigh a year.
Feral, as you recall, did not make fall trout camp. Did he secretly go Pike fishing on his own while Natch and I cast the raging rivers of the 45th parallel north? I suspect yes because my built in lie detector, call it a sixth sense, has been beeping in my brain like a Geiger counter whenever the topic of fall trout camp is on the table. Feral’s a sly one and admits to nothing. But in my minds eye, call it a seventh sense, he is sliding his kayak into the blue green waters of Lake county every day and reporting nothing.
I blame Feral for catching, filleting, and cooking my first fresh esox dinner. From lake to skillet it was the best fish dinner in my long fish dinner life. Secret recipe? Hardly. He powdered the fillets with a little flour and dropped them into some sizzling fake butter. I stand here now in the shadow of great fishermen and say it was the lightest and tastiest fish to ever hit my stomach.
So maybe it was evil intent all along. Hooking me like a junkie with a single meal. Then begging off trout fishing to go after Pike on the sly. All I can say is – It is not over. Maybe there is still time to resurrect all wrongs and meet up for a last camp, this time dedicated to catching the elusive monster Esox Lucius.