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Goodbye to summer: Young people made fishing memories to hold them through school

A collection of memory-making fishing stories of young people seems right at the end of summer.

In lieu of a Canadian trip, the Stream family fished Leech Lake where the oldest son, Charlie, 14, caught a 44-inch muskie while fishing for northern pike. Provided photo
In lieu of a Canadian trip, the Stream family fished Leech Lake where the oldest son, Charlie, 14, caught a 44-inch muskie while fishing for northern pike.
Provided

Summer’s end comes and the kids go back to school, but memories linger.

  • Because of Covid, Aaron Stream could ot take his sons on the annual fishing trip in Canada the last two years. This year they went to Minnesota instead. The highlight came on Leech Lake the last week of July.

“My oldest son Charlie Stream, 14, was casting for northern pike with a perch-colored spoon and he hooked into a 44-inch beauty [of a muskie],” Aaron emailed. “As soon as he hooked into it, the monster went completely airborne and took off screaming. After a 15-minute battle and a net job with a walleye net, we were able to get the fish in for a quick picture.

“It was a moment none of us will forget. I told my son it is by far my favorite fishing memory of mine in my 43 years of walking around.”

I have a new term: walking-around memory.

Isaac Biggerstaff, 14, caught his first fall Chinook solo kayak fishing on Lake Michigan, first out Racine, Wis., then out of Waukegan the next night, the best a 24-pounder from Racine. Provided photo
Isaac Biggerstaff, 14, caught his first fall Chinook solo kayak fishing on Lake Michigan, first out Racine, Wis., then out of Waukegan the next night, the best a 24-pounder from Racine.
Provided
  • Then there’s Isaac Biggerstaff, 14, who earned Fish of the Week last fall for catching a nice Chinook while kayak fishing out of a tandem with his father, Matt.

“We outgrew that and upgraded to individual kayaks, so this is Isaac’s first fall fishing solo for king salmon on Lake Michigan,” Matt Biggerstaff emailed. “We fished Racine [Aug. 21] and Waukegan [the next] night . . . and Isaac delivered!

“He caught two kings each night, including a 24-pound bruiser in Racine that ripped off 300 feet of line before Isaac finally got him into the ‘yak. The fall king run is still in the early stages, but Isaac is off to a great start.”

  • Rob Abouchar has several rewarding roles in life: reggae musician, West Leyden teacher and coach of the Leyden bass-fishing team.

“One of the things that I enjoy about teaching people how to fish or guiding is the reaction when they catch their first or biggest fish (such as Krissy Barron above): Usually a loud vocalization followed by a big childlike smile,” he emailed. “[Aug. 20] was a great example of this with students and staff catching bluegill from the fishing pier at Wood Dale Grove. Plenty of bluegills were going on ice jigs tipped with butter worms.”

I have a new description of first/best fish: “loud vocalization followed by a big childlike smile.”

Krissy Barron, one of the people taught fishing by Leyden bass-fishing coach Rob Abouchar, showed her reaction when catching this bluegill while they fished at Wood Dale Grove. Provided photo
Krissy Barron, one of the people taught fishing by Leyden bass-fishing coach Rob Abouchar, showed her reaction when catching this bluegill while they fished at Wood Dale Grove.
Provided

WILD THINGS

Birders have reported spotting many common nighthawks in the last week. I keep hoping to catch some on night broadcasts of Sox or Cubs games, but, if there has been some at the parks, I missed them.

STRAY CAST

Watching Justin Fields hit a tiny open window with a pass is like watching a top bass angler demonstrate pitching a jig into an opened 28-ounce can.