Traveling Trails Less Traveled. By Buckshot Anderson
For June 8th, 2007 Edition.
Although most of June is actually a portion of the season of spring, I count it as one of the north’s summer months. And for me, June is my favorite summer month.
I have countless memories tucked away in my gray matter concerning events that have taken place during the month of June over the past half-century.
A grand old gentleman named Herb Peters was the first of four unique individuals and their families to become one of my regular June anglers. Herb fished with my dad for many seasons and shared the boat with Andy’s son a few days a year beginning in 1955. After dad passed on to the Big Fish Pond in the Sky in 1961 Herb became an early June regular for the next 26 years.
Herb called Port Washington home and came north with his wife, Grace, to stay at our resort on Kasomo Lake. Herb first love was fishing for walleye, but he would often spend a day chasing bass or northern if his guide thought the conditions were right.
In his later years, as his health began to fail, Grace would pack a “heart friendly” lunch rather that the traditional shore lunch thinking her husband would be better for it. Herb generally fed the sandwiches to the chipmunks and we’d head for a lakeside bar and grille for a ‘burger and fries and a couple of snifters of brandy.
Herb’s favorite lake was Escanaba, and we spent many, many days tossing chubs at the walleye living there.
His final season in his beloved north woods was 1987.
Ed and Rose Brown of Evanston, IL became my second set of June regulars in 1961. Ed had been coming to the north country since 1919 and fished with numerous guides during his regular visits. Rose joined his expeditions in the early 20s and the two of them made Ed Gabe’s Lost Lake Resort their destination.
Ed and Rose were bass fishin’ nuts! Oh, once in a while when a grandchild was along on the party they’d relent and fish for some other specie, but when they were on their June outing it was bass, bass and more bass!
One of their greatest joys was going exploring with their guide. On mornings when I told them I had a “new lake to explore” their faces would light up and the second cup of coffee would be sacrificed for an earlier start. The two of them still hold one unusual record in my daily diary. One sunny June day in 1969 we “explored” five different small bass lakes!
Rose experienced her last June fishing trip in 1979, and Ed continued the tradition with his son, Ed Jr., through 1987 when he was 86!
However, the “Brown Tradition” still continues, as I have five days in June booked with 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation members of the clan!
Bill and Billie Smith became my third June Regulars in 1962. The Smith family came from Glenview, IL and had been long time visitors to the north woods before I met up with them at Ed Gabe’s in ’62.
After several days of not doing too well on the walleye, I took them to Salsich Lake for a go at the bass. The peace, beauty and solitude of a small remote lake grabbed their heartstrings and from then on they, like Ed and Rose, became hooked on bass fishing.
Getting one for the wall is the dream of most anglers and Bill and Billie were no exception. Billie nailed her five plus pounder early on and Neal Long did a wonderful job of preserving the memory. Several years slipped by and husband Bill was still looking for a twin to his wife’s trophy.
In desperation I took the couple to one of the most remote bass lakes I could think of in hopes of nailing a whopper for Bill. Sliding the boat down the steep hill to the water was easy, coming back up was a bit more challenging! We circled the lake twice. Lots of small bass, but no lunker. I headed for the so-called landing with heavy oars as Bill made one final cast towards a sunken log.
The lunker of his dreams responded and at long last Bill had one for the wall! But, there was more excitement yet to come. Their late June trip had been delayed and had to be extended into early July. The date was July 4th and we had to drive through Sayner to get to Neal Long’s Taxidermy Shop. We hit the streets of Sayner just as their annual 4th of July Parade was getting started.
My pal, JR DeWitt was in charge of lining up the floats and I talked him into letting us slip in the line up so we might get the fish to the taxidermist while it was still fresh. Then I got a neat idea. I removed the bass from a cooler filled with water and had a highly reluctant Bill Smith hold the wiggling fish out the passenger side window as we slowly moved along Main Street in the parade. Although we did not win the blue ribbon, it was a memory the three of us cherished for many years!
Bill passed way while he was up north on his annual June adventure in the early 80’s, but Billie continued to carry on the tradition until 1991. Their son, Tom and his wife Pam, continued to keep the Smith outing going until 2001.
The 4th June Regular was Kermit Momsen who came on board in 1965. He and his wife, Mimi, plus his two step-sons and numerous friends spent 376 days in my boat between 1965 and 2003. Kermit enjoyed fishing for all species and had a very impressive wall of memories in their family room in Brookfield, WI.
His family still owns and uses their “K-M Hideaway” in the north woods and spend many happy days enjoying our summer months! And although the head of the clan is gone, the memories endure.
As I finish this column the time is 5:13 a.m. Soon I will be getting ready to meet another of my present June Regulars, the Dudek Brothers. I hooked up with Dick and his family in the late 50s and fished with them during July for many years. But when earlier dates became available they switched their annual adventure to June.
Dick is nearing his 8th decade and brother Norb is 75. And their guide is not far behind.
Today we’ll be fishing one of the lakes my “Faithful Four” enjoyed. And hey, we’ll catch a couple in memory of all the fun times we shared together.
Rest in Peace my friends!
Mr. Leon "Buckshot" Anderson is one of the few old time hunting and fishing guides left in Northern Wisconsin. Buckshot is a personal friend of the family and has known and worked with my grandfather, Howard "Pop" Dean, both of whom are members of the fresh water fishing hall of fame, Legendary Guide. Buckshot has authored 7 books on the great outdoors. All of his books can be purchased directly from him, at a discount, by email: email@example.com or by mail to: 2220 Deadman's Gulch Road, St. Germain, WI 54558.
Books by Leon "Buckshot" Anderson Click Here
Yes; Deadman's Gulch is the correct name, I have been on that road many times. Sincerely David D. Cruger
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