Beast Of Burden

The color was salmon glow. Have you seen it? Neither have I. Out of 2,743 jigs and spoons on my person — nothing close. I've got jig boxes scattered in the snow in front of me upside down and inside out. Nothing.

Shoggie, here, has about 10 jigs along. But he's got the right one. Travels light. One rod, Some stuff in his pocket. Depth finder clipped to his jacket.

On the right, here, is every day for me. Backpack that weighs about 50 pounds, with camera gear, extra jig boxes, leaders, liquids, lunch, and — oh, look. Room for some socks. And a tip-up. And...

Rod case strapped on. Trusty Vexilar FL-18 . Auger. Have scoop, will travel. We're driving out there with trucks, sure, but when a guide like Shoggie (David Shogren — 218/765-3197) slips off into the mist hundreds of yards from Tony Roach's┬ácaravan, you stay close. Could miss a shot or two. No time to ┬árun back to the truck for a camera. Fish like these need to be released. Shoggie's because it's in the slot and mine because, well — just because.

Most days (like the one when this shot was taken by Rick Hammer) I can find a close enough approximation to anyone's lure to keep up, when I have to. Most days, I'd rather zig when they zag. They go big, I go small. They go spoon, I go rattlebait. They zig, I zag. They catch 5 in a row, I'm zaggin'.

Salmon glow. Right. One man's salmon is another man's pink. If women determined the names of the colors on lure packaging, you could bet there wouldn't be a range of colors called pink. There would be a cerise, a bubblegum... a salmon, etc.

"What spoon is that, Shoggie?"

"What?" Not a breath of wind, either. I can take a hint. Where's that bottle of salmon scent I packed in here in 1997...

Shoggie's got the right idea. Pocketful of jigs. One rod. He slides.

I'll never be your beast of burden; My back is broad, but it's a hurtin'...

Rolling Stones

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