Day two of our trip started early. I rubbed the sleep from my still half-closed eyes and pulled back the curtain for a peek at the morning sky. Calm winds and clear skies wished me a good morning. I stumbled out of bed, eager for another day of fishing the big lake in southern Ontario. Then I tried to swallow…ruh-roh: I had a sore throat.
Nothing is worse than waiting all year for an annual trek to Canada to chase big pike, fat walleye and feisty smallmouth, than getting sick during the trip. The first day had started promising too as my first fish was a 27″ walleye. In fact, we’d boat more big ‘eyes than any other trip we’ve been on. The only problem was that I’d be spending a good chunk of the trip in bed.
Luckily it was just a cold, so I still made it out on the lake quite a bit, but a new weather system rolled in and I was peering out of my rain gear at 50 degree temps and pellets of water that stung any exposed skin as we skipped across the waves.
My colds usually go like this: 3 days of a sore throat, then two days of misery. I feel like someone stuck the nozzle of an air compressor in my ear and turned it on. The big kind too, not these wimpy foot pedal pumps. The kind you wheel it out of the garage when you have a flat tire. Oh, and that beast of a machine is set right on top of my lungs. With weights attached. I still managed to fish, but missed out on some of the prime time action. In fact, I may not have made it out the first day if I hadn’t been tempted by my cousin Jeff with a t-bone steak breakfast. What can I say? It would take a pretty serious calamity to keep me from knifing through some prime usda anytime of day.
After 5 days, my immune system usually wins out, but I’ll still have some lingering side effects for about a week. Even though the last day was cold and rainy, I was bound and determined to spend it on the water. With a sleeve that worked well as a kleenex, I found some nice fish and watched my 13-year-old nephew, Dan, catch the biggest walleye of his life, a healthy 26.5 incher that he released.
Despite the inconvenience of keeping everyone up with a cough, we still had a great trip. Hey, when life gives you lemons, you go fishing right?
Just remember to pack your long johns and some cold medicine.