About four years ago, when I was eleven, I went on a fly-in fishing trip to Canada. It was my friend, his Father, my Father, and I who all were going on this trip. I was very excited to finally go to a different country for the first time. Also I loved fishing, and Canada is one of the best places to go catch big fish. I could remember waking up on saturday mornings, sipping my orange juice, and watching the sportsman's channel. Every time I would see people catching these enormous fish in Canada. Now it was my turn to reel some of these beasts in. Another thing I was looking forward to was my first plane ride. Riding high above the clouds cruising along at speeds I couldn’t even imagine was all I could think about. That is until I heard the news. We were arriving there not by sky but by car. It's about one thousand miles to Canada, and we were going to drive every single one of them. “Drive all the way up to Canada?”, how boring I thought. What in the world am I going to do for twelve hours?
Looking up after a couple of hours I couldn’t help but ask “Are we there yet.” My dad just chuckled and didn’t say a word. I went back to swiping in all directions on my phone while playing my favorite game at the time, Candy Crush. Occasionally I would fall asleep which was great, because time would fly when I was sleeping. When I would wake up I always wondered if I missed anything. Whether it was a funny story, or something in nature we passed by. Finally we stopped at a hotel for the night. I was thankful we were done driving, but I knew come tomorrow morning we would be on the road again. We went out to eat and returned to the hotel. Exhausted from a long day of driving we all were sound asleep in the blink of an eye.
Early in the morning we hit the road once again. After staring out the window for what seemed like an eternity we finally arrived at the border. Although we weren’t at our destined location it was still my first time entering another country, so I was pretty excited. I sat on the edge of my seat staring wide eyed at the beautiful Canadian waters. After a while I seemed to get bored of the view. All I knew was that I just wanted to be done driving. Hearing the car roll to a stop, I looked up from my phone. We had finally made it to the lodge! It felt like an eternity, but we had made it to our fly-in outpost. Although we had made it to the outpost, we still had to fly before we did any fishing. Being the impatient kid that I was, I was still not impressed.
Anxiously waiting for our plane to arrive, I looked at pictures in the lodge. Everywhere my eyes took me there was big fish. I couldn’t wait to get my fishing rod and start casting. I heard my dad shout to me, “Rhett, the plane has arrived.” Finally I was going to get on that elusive plane ride I have waited for my whole life. Coming up to the dock I saw the plane that we would be riding in. It’s safe to say that I was not happy. I was expecting a nice, big plane not a tiny one. We jammed our gear in the back and loaded the plane. I was so mad that I just stared straight ahead the whole time. It was very windy outside, which whipped our plane around pretty good. About halfway through I wasn’t feeling very good due to the turbulence. Looking towards my friend’s dad I motioned to him that I might puke. He grabbed me a plastic bag and not more than a minute later I started puking. Now I was even more mad. I just wanted to get off this stupid little plane.
After about a forty minute plane ride we arrived at our cabin. Fishing was the only thing on my mind, and it was getting dark. I rushed to grab my rod, but my dad stopped me. He said that we had to unload all of our gear and unpack it before I could do any fishing. Trudging along I grabbed bag after bag and took them inside our cabin. It was now too dark to fish, so I brought all my things into my room, slammed my door, and went to sleep without saying a word to anyone.
The next morning I skipped the bacon and eggs. I went straight out to the porch to where my rods were to get them ready. After I got them all strung up I finally could get my line in the water. My first cast I reeled in a decent sized walleye. I thought to myself, “Now this is Canada baby!” Slowly working my way around the island I made cast after cast. It seemed as if every other cast I would catch a fish. Then I came around the side of the island where the sun rise was. “Wow, what a view!”, I quietly thought to myself. The sun glistened off the water, and lit up the whole lake. My first thought was to send a picture to some of my friends and family back home. I took out my phone and snapped a photo. There was one problem though. There was no wifi in this cabin, and there was no way I was getting any service way out on this isolated island. This was only my first day how was I going to survive without my phone for a week? Being frustrated once again I returned to the cabin.
Everyone was now up and we were going to take the boats out for the first time. The fishing was even better in the middle of the lake. I had never caught so many fish in my life. After a while I got hungry and wanted to go back to the cabin. Everyone else had ate breakfast already, so they wanted to stay out fishing. When we returned home we ate fried fish for dinner. It was some of the best fish I had ever eaten. Sitting out on the porch as the sun went down it hit me. It was the little voice in my head saying “Open your eyes and look around.” I then realized that this is what the trip was all about.
It isn’t all just about fishing. Sure that is what we came here to do, but making memories while fishing was the most important thing. We may forget about some of the fish we caught, but the memories will always be there in the back of our minds. Laying in bed that night I thought about all of this. From now on I was going to enjoy every single moment on this trip. The rest of the week flew by. It was a total blast catching big fish after big fish. However my favorite parts of the trip were staying up late listening to stories, spending time with my dad in the boat, and playing cards at the kitchen table. They say time flies when you’re having fun and I couldn’t find that to be more true in my situation.
Next thing I know it’s friday, and were packing our bags to leave. This time on the plane ride back I soaked it all in. Looking out the window I saw a moose for the first time. The bird's eye view of Canada was something that will forever be sketched in my mind. We arrived back at the lodge and it was time to make the long drive home. I actually enjoyed it this time. We told stories that would keep us laughing for minutes. As crazy as it may seem, I didn’t want the drive to end this time. Sadly, we finally made it home and the trip was over. Too often we get to caught up in this loud world that we live in. Sometimes it is nice to go spend some nice, quiet, quality time with friends and family. The memories that are made will last a lifetime. I know personally that I will never forget this trip and what it taught me.