I thought I would bring back a trip I took with a legend that many of you are familiar with.
Given the recent weather you would think it was still winter and not Spring like the calendar said. Waking up in the cold dark room I could hear the wind blowing hard against the house. In the living room I checked the wind direction and temperature on my weather station. We had some stiff Northeast winds and the temperatures were well below the freezing mark. It was going to be a cold and windy day, but I had obligations and I stand true to my word.
A special guest was to accompany me on an expedition to see if we cannot catch some of the tasty Coho salmon on the Lake Michigan shorefront. My guest has an odd name, but I try not to judge, as all of my clients are to receive top-notch priority. It wasn’t only the name, however, that seemed to catch me off guard.
Walking into the kitchen my guest was already waiting at the breakfast table ready and willing for out adventure. He introduced himself as Mr. Flat Stanley. Pleasantries were exchanged I immediately knew that this would be an exciting yet interesting day.
Stanley and I made our way to the lakefront and even stopped to get a bite to eat. I could hear the excitement in his voice as well as see it on the expression of his face. He asked if I could get a quick photo of him to show proof of his existence at this time of the morning. Of course being the gracious host I obliged and got a quick shot of him showing his friends that he does certainly get up early to go fishing.
We arrived safely at the lakefront and met up with Ed Schmitt to learn a different technique of fishing. We were going to Powerline for the coho. The basic principal is to launch a weight attached to a long rubber band as far out as possible and then tie on your line to the end of that rubber band. As you let the line out you attach hooks and different intervals and bait them with minnows or nightcrawlers. Ed expertly attached each hook and added balloons at different intervals to keep the baits floating at the height they should be.
Lines were set and I heard Stanley hollering that he had caught a fish. Really I thought to myself? I turned to see Stanley holding up his catch as proud as could be.
Well, Stanley had tossed his hook into the minnow bucket and caught one of the lively minnows we were using for bait. After a quick explanation of the process and a release back to the bucket we were off and fishing for our real quarry.
With the powerlines set we proceeded to cast spoons and blade baits with our spinning gear in search of some of the roaming fish. Stanley had some issues with the rod given its size, but he seemed to manage. Here he is showing off his first bait of choice.
Suddenly the bell on one of the lines started to ring and Ed quickly grabbed the line and was battling our first Coho of the day. The waves made the landing tricky; as they were high and crashing pretty good against the tall steel wall we stood on. The fish made its way into the net and the ice was broken.
Another bell rang shortly after and I was able to land another nice Coho. The sun was shinning brightly by this time and we had concluded that the warming of the sun on the dark dirty water was starting to turn the fish’s mood.
Stanley was up next. I was casting with a little cleo when I got hit hard and I handed the rod off to Stanley. He fought the fish like a trooper and Ed scooped the net under the fish. It was a small brown, but Stanley was as happy as could be. Here he is posing for a picture of our catch so far
The rest of the morning was slow with a few more bell rings and we were able to put a couple more fish in the net. Stanley decided to take a quick nap while Ed and I casted and waited for a strike on our lures or on the lines that we had set.
It wasn’t long and the wind decided to switch directions and pick up even stronger than it had been before. The day was cold, but the sun warmed our bodies thru the layers and layers of clothes we had on.
With agreement of all three involved we decided to call it a day and began to pack things up. I caught Stanley standing there just staring out at the cityscape and asked him if he was ok? He was fine he said, I’m just taking it all in”. I snapped a picture on him with Chicago in the background so that he could show all of his friends where he had just visited.
Our trip had ended, but a friendship had begun. Stanley napped the entire ride home, as I don’t blame him as the wind, cold, and sun had taken its toll on us all. Upon arrival back home Stanley washed up and we said our goodbyes and he was off to his next destination. He was off to experience the wonder and beauty of Colorado.
Sometimes I get the opportunity to fish with some great people. Today was no exception. I was able fish with a good friend Ed, and able to introduce a new friend to the world of fishing. If I were to guess I would say Mr. Flat Stanley had a good time and I would have no problems taking him out again if our paths were to ever cross again.
Good Luck and good travel Mr. Flat Stanley!