A Lifelong Passion

Getting back to where it all began

By Raeanne O'Meara

I’m a bit unsure of where the summer went. If you had told me several months ago that I didn’t get out fishing on the lake nearly as much as I had intended, I wouldn’t have believed you. Yet here we were, having just gotten home from a trip out of town, and the weather was too perfect to pass up.


See, the biggest contributor to the lack of fishing was a miserable boat motor on our 12-footer that would run just long enough to have us rowing back to shore without getting the lines in the water. Frustrating, to say the least. Back on shore, my partner would tinker away with the motor, and then we would find ourselves busy without the time to see if the issue had been resolved.



Seeing as fall, and hunting season, were rapidly approaching, we knew we had to take advantage of the beautiful weather while we still had the time and see if the problems were solved – and I desperately wanted to put a batch of candied trout into the smoker. Off we putted, back and forth in front of our place not daring to go too far in case we found ourselves under manpower only.


Sure, the rush of a big chinook on the end of the line is hard to beat, but you could not wipe the smile off my face that afternoon, all from a limit of rainbows on the trusty old Ford Fender. It’s fascinating to me that one of the very first activities that stoked my passion for the outdoors still fuels that excitement as someone dang close to their 30s. It is one of my biggest wishes in life that someone can experience the childlike joy that comes from reeling in a fish, no matter the size.


There is the inevitable good-natured ribbing that comes from friends about my obsession with rainbows, but they are the fish that started it all for me – it wasn’t until much later in my life that I started to catch lakers and salmon. So while the reward for catching the latter might seem more enticing to some, the nostalgia that comes from those feisty trout is unmatched to me. Oh, and the jesting always seems to fall to the wayside once that plate of smoked trout gets passed around the table.