Scott Rall: The most memorable two hours of my life
When you sit around with friends enjoying a few cold ones, there is always an opportunity to share some old hunting and fishing stories.
My twins are now 31 years old and they don’t spend much time in my fishing boat anymore. The son lives in Denver, and my daughter lives in Golden Valley and just had a new baby. They both have busy lives.
I was telling a story this past weekend about one particular fishing outing I had with those twins more than 27 years ago. They were about 4 years old at the time.
This is one I had written about more than 10 years ago but my computer crashed and, with two different back-ups, I still lost my stored columns anyway. What a disaster.
The folks that heard it this weekend almost cried with laughter, so I will resubmit it for your enjoyment as well.
I had gotten a super-hot tip the walleyes were biting on the east shore of West Graham Lake in Nobles County. All you had to do was cast a certain color twister tail and they would bite it like crazy. Limits were being had within 15 minutes of getting on the water.
My dilemma at the time was that my wife worked 3 to 12 p.m. and if I was going to go fishing, I had to take the twins along. I made careful preparations and had everything a little kid could want — two big bags of chips and a 64-ounce bottle of Orange Crush pop. I figured that if I could get on the water for just a few short minutes, I could capitalize in this hot tip.
I forgot to add that I had the cocker spaniel, Roscoe, along as well. We unloaded the boat and off to the east shore we headed at the full speed of a 25-hp outboard motor. I figured if I set the bobbers on my kids’ rods shallow enough, their hooks would not get snagged on the bottom as they drug behind the boat.
I gave them only two instructions. The first was do not spill the pop in the boat. The second was don’t cast your lines — leave them floating in the water behind the boat.
I was just getting finished tying on my super-secret color lure when I heard this familiar sound. As I looked back each kid had a plastic glass of pop, a big smile on their faces and orange mustaches as the 64-oz. pop jug was on its side gently emptying the entire contents unto the carpeted floor of the boat.
I said “Scott, be cool, you can clean that up later.” As I went to make my fist cast for what was surely going to be my first walleye of the day, I heard a fight break out over the potato chip bag — Brandon on one end and Brittany on the other. In the next three seconds, the bag of chips exploded and rained down like confetti across the floor of the boat.
Now orange pop and potato chips in the floor of the boat is by no means a game-changer, but what happened next was. We were taken over by a swarm of flies that must have numbered in the tens of thousands. They covered every inch of that boat floor. This is when the twins started to sing like a choir that the flies were bothering them.
I was determined to catch a fish that day, so I made my first cast and my lure went 12 inches too far and wrapped my lure around a tree branch. I knew then that my day was going to end badly.
I broke the line and tied on one more time. Just as I was about to cast the second time, my son hollered, “What is that smell?” With all of the calamity of the pop, chips, flies, bad casts, and general chaos, Roscoe had gone the number two in the boat and the kids had tracked it from the front of the boat to the other.
I had managed to keep about four balls in the air at the same time that day with twins and a dog, but this was too much even for a young, energetic dad.
I sat quietly in the front of the boat for a few minutes and had one cold beer. I then stowed the trolling motor and headed back to the boat landing. There were two of my friends there. One had gotten on the lake after me and was back at the landing with his limit of six walleyes. The other had followed me out and was right behind me at the boat launch, and guess what, he had his limit, too. I made it back to town and got out the garden hose and commenced the hurricane clean-up procedures.
When I pushed the boat back in the garage where it had come from, only two hours had passed since I left. It was the longest two hours of my life, but probably the most memorable two hours of my life as well.
I cannot wait until my grandson Ben Remme is old enough to repeat this comedy. Kids and fishing are a match made in heaven. If you are the adult, just don’t plan on catching very much.