For the first time ever, I got to experience Ely in the summer, and what a great reason to go there. It was the 50th annual Veterans with Disabilities fishing trip and I was asked to come up and guide. The event started Monday with veterans from all over the country coming to Veterans on the Lake Resort to get some time in the boat seat. Although catching fish is just a bonus, they say, we did have to get enough for the fish fry Wednesday night so we were all excited to get on the water early Tuesday morning. This being my first time there, I got some advice from Hank Ebert and some of the other guides who had been going for years.
With the weather forecast calling for rain and some storms, I wanted to get as much time on the water as possible before it hit. As it turns out, we had three great days with only 10 minutes of light rain.
In my boat I had the privilege of having two guys who absolutely loved to fish. Now it was up to me to find them something that would bite their hook.
It only took about 5 minutes before we had our first walleye in the boat, the pressure was off. Throughout the first day we had walleyes, pike and a whole mess of big crappies slowly filling the livewell until they were pretty much trying to flop out. After having such a great day, I was really excited for the second day to be better. Although the crappies didn’t cooperate, we did catch limits of walleyes, so we were happy with that.
Throughout the week my boat was filled with veterans who served from Vietnam to Iraq. With a little time on the lake it doesn’t take long to realize they all share a special bond. For me being able to be a part of their day, that’s special to me. It especially hits home as we reflect on Memorial Day.
Thank you to all who have served, and let’s remember that it’s not just a day off.