Thanks for all the memories, Frank

A few weeks ago our region lost a great dude that many of you probably knew, Frank McClymont.
Those of you that like to fish surely knew Frank because he was active in all aspects of the fishing industry around Sunset Country for many years, whether it was participating in area fishing tournaments, helping out with charity events to get people on the water that otherwise might not have the opportunity and he was always willing to use his experience to help educate others on how to catch all species of fish.
I knew Frank for many years and he left an influence on me early in my life that has lived on to this day.
My grandparents owned a cabin on the west end of Lake of the Woods, in Echo Bay. From the time I was 9 or 10 years old all I wanted to do was go fishing and I was able to take Grandpa’s 14-foot Lund with a 15 horsepower motor out in the bay to fish for bass and pike.
One of the things that I always used to do was pull up to anybody fishing out of a nice boat and ask them if they were catching any fish.
Frank used to fish in Echo Bay quite often and he always had a nice Lund Pro-V boat. He was always really nice to me and usually gave me a lure or two so I would always pull up to see what was happening. I think I probably told him every spot that I ever caught a bass at in that bay as well so it was probably a fair trade!
As the years went by I got to know Frank a little better since we both participated in all of the bass tournaments around the region.
In my early years of fishing in bass tournaments, Frank was always at the top of the leaderboard in every event. In fact, some of the first tournaments that my Dad and I fished were a series of Tuesday night tournaments that were put on by Jim Scribner at Harbourview Marina in Kenora.
Jim passed away a few years ago but he had a great circuit of events that he put on for several years.
Anyway, I remember one summer Frank and his wife Linda won like four out of the six events and were the overall champions at the end of the year.
In my own success, Frank was always one of the first to come and shake my hand and tell my partners and I good job. He was just a good sport all the time and he was always happy for whoever did well.
When I fished at my first FLW Tour event last February in Florida, one of the first phone calls I got after the tournament was over was from Frank.
He was complimentary on my finish and wanted to know how I caught my fish and my thoughts on the whole experience.
Since we were both on the Lund Boats pro staff we traveled together a few times over to years to some pro staff functions in the U.S. and had some good road trips together.
It was always fun going anywhere with Frank because he was always totally prepared for everything. He had maps printed with a planned route, he kept the room spotless and he always made sure that I was doing the right things.
Over the past year after he was diagnosed with cancer it was tough for everyone around Frank because here is a guy that was always so honest and happy all the time. He didn’t deserve this. But he never once at least around me, showed any sign of wanting sympathy. He just never wanted anybody to treat him any differently.
Last fall I was able to spend a day in the boat with him on his favourite body of water, Shoal Lake and we had a great day. We talked about some of our best fishing memories over the years and then Frank gave me several tidbits of advice regarding me career in the fishing industry.
Over the last few months he continued to share his thoughts with me on all of my activities some good and some constructive. I know that he really cared about how lucky I am to get to do what I do and he wanted to see me succeed. It means a lot.
Unfortunately I missed Frank’s memorial service this past weekend because I’m down in Alabama getting ready for a tournament this week on Wheeler Lake but I know that there was a good turnout of his many friends.
Hopefully I can catch a few fish you this weekend buddy!