Have you seen the “Ugly Stick” fishing pole commercial?  In the scene, the husband is sitting in the kitchen obviously getting ready to go fishing, when suddenly the wife swoops in and spys the fishing rod. In disgust she grabs it and stuffs it in the trash compactor and flips on the switch. The shocked viewer hears a lot of grinding emitting from the appliance, as the husband calmly sits by clearly not fazed by her actions. The wife stomps out of the room and the husband hops up from his chair and opens up the compactor and the rod boinks out, unharmed and the husband pops on his hat and calmly heads out for his fun on the water.

I start with this commercial because on my return from MI a few weeks ago, I return to find such a pole as a gift from my husband. A fisherman at heart, he needed to make sure I was on the same page as he. Unsure of my skills, the “Ugly Stick” was chosen due to its indestructible nature, which are my thoughts, but my husband tells me it is due to its sensitivity…hmmm. So that was step one, get “the wife”, a  fishing rod.

This past weekend was step two of the thinly veiled plan. Take “the wife” to one of the biggest fishing shows in NE Wisconsin in Green Bay. I had no problem with that, but hoped it wasn’t an all day event. I was lucky on that point, we spent just over an hour. We quickly perused all the vendors, to my amazement the goods ranged from artwork, to furniture, to guns (do they shoot fish in WI?), and of course all the “best”  lures and artificial bait, and various other gear. There were several booths devoted to fishing camps on remote lakes in Ontario, Minnesota, and of  course the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

Now for step three. Prepare “the wife’s” mind with the available waters  good for walleye and smallmouth bass. My husband Jon had checked out the schedule for the seminars offered through out the event, ahead of time, and spotted  a good one, ” The Six Best Smallmouth Waters” (which also included walleye). The speaker, a river guide, covered the major rivers in northern Wisconsin which his own personal experience proved to be great for fishing. He captivated his audience with dozen of  prize fish photos that his family and friends had caught over the years. Within his PowerPoint show, we saw  what baits would be successful in different types of water at different times of the year or  in fishing vernacular how to “match the hatch” ( or imitate the forage base..my husband told me to say that). He suggested using flurocarbon line, which is difficult for fish to see. I also had my husband over a barrel on the suggestion from the guide that a simple, cheap John boat, not a deep V, would be sufficient as a river fishing vessel. But my husband reminded me that there were a variety of  fishing venues in WI: rivers, flowage, lakes, and of course, the big lake. So at this point in time, it’s called rent a boat, use our canoe, or kayak for our outings  this coming year.

Well step four has not been completed as of this writing, but I believe the plan is to get “the wife” into a store that sells reels to finish out the rod. He did survey me for what kind of reels I had used previously, my answer was a cheap kid’s reel such as a  Zebco enclosed reels.  I don’t think that is the kind he had  in mind for me. So, acting like I don’t see through  my husband cleverly mounting, plan,  I suspect I will humor him and likely enjoy  some fishing time this spring, summer, and fall. I don’t mind, but I don’t clean fish, if we should be so lucky! (A friend  suggested that a license be in the plan, as well).

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About the author

I retired 9 years ago from teaching and then remarried. Of course that wasn't enough of a life change, so I moved to Wisconsin where my husband Jon resided. This blog reflects thoughts about my Wisconsin and Michigan, hobbies, and family history. As of 2016 we have returned to NW Lower Michigan near family and friends.

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