Army vets enjoy day of fishing

A dozen Kenora fishing guides enjoyed a special day on Lake of the Woods on Saturday when they were invited to take part in Armed Forces Day that took place on the Kenora Harbourfront.
Each of the guides showed up to the docks at 7 a.m. to pick up three military veterans, all of whom have returned from Afghanistan in recent months.
A full day of fishing ensued that included a great walleye shore lunch and plenty of laughs.
Many people were involved in making this event happen, but a huge blast of appreciation has to go out to prominent local fishing guide John Monteith and his wife, Dorothy, who put in a major amount of time and effort to rally up all the guides and organize a shore lunch for 50 people.
Kenora’s Woody Linton and Winnipeg’s Bob Kozminski also were instrumental in organizing the event, amongst many other people.
When John Monteith called me this past winter to ask if I would be interested in volunteering for this event, I did not even have to think about it—it was automatic.
Spending the day in the boat with three Afghanistan veterans was an emotional experience not only for me, but for everyone involved. I was somewhat at a loss for words when it came to thanking these people for all that they do.
I said “thank you,” but I felt like it was not enough. When you consider what these folks do for all of Canada, words just are not enough.
The fishing on Lake of the Woods on Saturday was excellent for everybody involved. Most of the guides fished relatively close together, so there was plenty of chirping between boats about who was catching the most fish and who had the biggest ones.
Our boat caught about 50 walleyes up to 22 inches in length, with most of the fish being the perfect eating size (14- to 16-inch range).
We focused our efforts on main lake humps in the Manitou area of the lake, south of Kenora. We would drive around and look for groups of fish on the electronics.
When we spotted fish, we immediately would stop the boat, throw a marker buoy over the side, and drop our lines.
We caught a lot of fish within a minute of getting our jig and minnow combos down to the bottom, and had plenty of double and tripleheaders throughout the day.
The entire group met at noon for shore lunch on Oliver Island. The site was great and easily accommodated the large group.
A couple of tents were set up in case it rained, but we managed to make it through the day without any major precipitation.
The traditional shore lunch consisted of Corn Flake crumb-battered walleye, potatoes, beans, and some great salads. There was plenty of food for everybody, and most folks enjoyed second helpings.
The next time you run into someone who is involved with the Canadian military, please be sure to thank them for all their contributions to our great country because we would not be able to experience all the great things we do, like fishing and hunting, without the sacrifices these people make.
Hopefully this becomes an annual event. You can sign me up again next year, for sure!

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