The catch that didn’t get away

The Tale of the mysteriouis BB makes me think of another iconic story in the life of the Koerners.

For years we have taken the special trip up to the north woods of Wisconsin to enjoy the natural sense of relaxation it imposes on all of us. We are captivated by the surroundings and enjoy our ability to put aside things like TV and such. Cell phones are not much use up there as they are so iffy in communication with the lack of huge cell towers so even those are pretty much put aside. While there we read, we walk, we talk, we swim, boat, and fish.

Fishing is one of those things that I am not good at. This isn’t to say that I haven’t really put in my time doing it. While the boys were growing up, it is one of the first things I taught them to do. And as with many of the things I taught them, this is one where they quickly surpassed their father in ability and even in enjoyment.

While the three boys were growing up, fishing was a major project and, for the most part, while we fished, I spent my time helping them untangle, attach hooks, and the like. They proceeded to learn all sorts of things about it while I remained locked in one spot of my fishing career. The problem is that I pretty much started getting bored by it since they kept catching things and I didn’t!

At this point, the boys were older and began to be concerned for my situation. They would be catching these huge blue gills and trout and such and I would be relegated to the occasional baby perch.  The were on the trail of the infamous Muskie and periodically, they would feel his presence.  They started working on building up my confidence and trying to set me up for more success. I guess they must have learned some teaching techniques from the parents. Needless to say, it didn’t work!

So, one day I am on the dock, taking one more stab at the fishing thing, and I feel this tug. Honestly, I have had many a fight with a fish and usually it has come to naught as I get close to that final moment and somehow it gets away. This time it was a struggle, it was intense, the boys circled around me and gave me pointers.

I am guessing that you may well know where this is going. Then again, you may not. I continue the struggle and lo and behold finally pull in my catch as the boys readied the net so that I wouldn’t, once again, lose my prize. I actually did pull it in. Unfortunately it wasn’t a fish and the struggle it gave me was none other than that of an inanimate object, an action figure. It was a “Stretch Armstrong” figure that I remember from the early seventies and which made a reappearance at the stores. From my research online, its ability to stretch is because it is filled with corn syrup. It is heavy.  It turns out that the boys even knew why Stretch was in the lake, he having been the posession of our neighbor down the street who frequented the north woods lake with his family.

I only wish we had gotten a picture of it! That was my catch that didn’t get away!


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