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Five years ago this coming June I spent the better part of four days with a husband and his wife in the BWCA. They were celebrating 7 years of wedded bliss and this guided canoe trip would be the gift to each other to mark the occasion. The couple was from west Texas.

Two children had been dropped of at the grandparent’s house in Del Rio. They drove almost straight through to get to my house on an early Tuesday morning. They thought the weather to be cool and I was sweating in the low seventy degree temps. My cold, there hot, were not the same.

 They inquired via the mail in February of that year if I was the man for the job and I said if there check didn’t bounce I thought I could handle the arrangements. First off, they really didn’t need a guide, they were more about not having to buy or rent a canoe, tent, or camping gear for what they thought would be one single trip into the hinterlands.  After a few hours on the water the two convinced me this would be one relaxed trip.

We paddled most of the day and late afternoon had us sliding onto a point between hoist and Back Bay in Basswood Lake. Portages no problem, no achy backs, bugs no big deal and the two hauled more than there fair share. So much to my surprise, not me, but we, set camp. They had fun doing it I could tell. I could also tell when it was time for me to go get lost.

I got lost a quarter of a mile up the lake shore in a school of crappies. I saved four and one walleye for dinner. Back at camp I fried them up with some potatoes and as the sun went down the three of had dinner. They had bundled against the nights chill; I was in a tee shirt.

Next morning we all went fishing and even a blind pig finds an acorn once in awhile or so I’m told, but the walleyes really bit. It got too easy so we quit. Back at camp, fresh walleye for breakfast and the leftovers made nice sandwiches for lunch. 

Then the Mrs. said she wanted to cook her husband and I dinner tonight, this there second evening and I said sure. She said I should be back by 7 pm to eat, and don’t be late.  I have no problem eating so I went and got lost after lunch until dinner time.

The corn bread I will not soon forget. The Tex mex cowboy beans I dine on regularly to this day. I made her write out the recipe at the take out when we parted ways. We feasted in the forest that night and I have song her praises ever since. Matter of fact just this past Saturday she and the hubby heated up my cold northern Minnesota kitchen yet again until I sweated most of January back out of my anemic hide. This time the three of us agreed on how cold it was, but just outside.

The Trout Whisperer


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