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Murphy's Law and Fishing at Head Lake

By Iain Loveman

Iain Loveman

"Everything that can go wrong, will go wrong at the most inappropriate moment!"

It's 2.30 am. and I can't sleep. My fishing buddies have decided that it's time to tackle Head Lake, near Norland. I have arranged to meet them for pick up around 6 ish and all I can hear is the incessant ticking of the clock.

I get up boil the kettle and make up a cup of instant coffee. The winds are blowing outside and the thermometer reads a plus 5, another great day for fishing, God, this is great weather for June, I think to myself.

The clock ticks by and then the phone rings around 4.30, it's Henry, "Come and get me." I argue with him for five minutes that he had said 6.00, " I know, I know but your up now, come and get me!" So, I pack up the truck and speed off to his place. He meets me at the truck and tells me the other guys have cancelled, so drop the boat, get your stuff and we will go with Gunn.

About fifteen minutes later we arrive in Sutton and find Gunn, give him his wake up coffee from Tim Hortons and jump into his Kingcab and we're off to the races. Now, Henry and Gunn are back road drivers so the trip takes us by Lake Simcoe. She's a cold breeze coming off the lake and the white caps have already started so I hope this isn't a prediction of what's to come.

Our side tour finally takes us past Port Bolster, when suddenly there is a surge in the engine but we are not moving any faster, in fact we're slowing down. Gunn drops it into a lower gear and then states we have lost part of the transmission. After a couple of minutes of inspection we are heading home again to switch vehicles. We make the transfer and head out again without any problems, until we get to Head Lake.

We back the truck down the ramp into the sandy beach, transfer the gear and get ready to launch and we find the front roller on the trailer broken off. No big deal but now the wind has picked up to about 30 klics and the white caps are forming.

If any of you have fished Head Lake you know this can be dangerous because she is well known for her outcrops of rocks. Gunn decides to use the 55HP motor to get us out. He turns the key and gets rrrr rrrr click, click, click. Yes, you guess it, the battery is dead.

So, next choice, use the 9.9HP motor. Turn it on, give it pull, it fires runs for 10 seconds and dies, pull again runs for 10 seconds and dies. He is using last year's gas without stabilizer in it. Now, we go back to the 55 and pull start it and manage to get the boat out from the beach. You haven't forgot about the wind have you?

Gunn is the kind of guy who likes the five o'clock shadow look on his head and isn't wearing a hat for fear of losing it. He tells us to hang on because he is going to nail it. He throttles her up and we hear this loud crack of wood splintering and then thud. We both look back to see Henry entangled in the rear chair laying on his back. We almost split our britches from laughing.

We get ourselves situated again and head out again and she's rough. I think I still have rug burn on my knees even though I was wearing pants and long underwear.

We managed to get about half way across the lake, when he shuts it down screaming, " I can't drive anymore because I've got an ice cream headache! " I tell you he was literally vibrating from the cold. It takes one more try and we find shelter at the far end of the lake.

Great, let's go fishing. Gunn decides to use the electric trolling motor because the 55 is just a little too much at an idle.

This is working out fairly well until we seem to be drifting toward a large outcrop of rock ... out of control. Gunn realizes that the trolling motor battery is dead.

We pull the 55 prop out the water, miraculously get the 9.9 to run and clear the rocks. All this and we still haven't caught a fish.Gunn is the first one to hook one and she's a fine walleye about 28 inches and weighing about 5 1/2 lbs. He using a fat bodied, yellow Rapala. Henry, scores next using one of the special spinners I mention in the other column.

His catch, a nice Muskey, 25 lbs. and 3 feet long. This beauty takes about 20 minutes to land with Henry travelling all over the boat. We kept her just long enough for a picture. The fishing dies off and we drift over a lot of other areas.

The boys then managed to get themselves all tangled up and just when Henry's about to say, " You've got the whole lake to yourself !", wham, I get my pickerel for the day.

Iain S Loveman