"Memories from a trip when I was a 12-year old"
Jan. 11, 2011
Every now and then we have the pleasure of running into people that hold Aikens Lake dear to their hearts. Just this past month, we received an email from one such person who has not visited the lodge in the past 20 years! It is very interesting to see how the classic father/son trip helps create so many lifelong memories. James Pryal was at Aikens with his family in the first years of the Turenne/Lavack partnership. With his permission, we are publishing excerpts from his emails! Unfortunately, he couldn't find the picture he was referring to, but I am sure we can all picture ourselves in that picture by the falls! Read on... Dear Pit, I am a fishing guide here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I visited your lodge with my Father and Brother when I was 12 or 13, which would have been around 20 years ago now. I still tell people of the unbelievable fishing we had there. Someday, I would love to visit it again. I saw your ads on the google pop up ads on the LSSU fish-cam on the St. Mary's River. Just wanted to say thanks for the great memories I still have of that place, even after all this time! It's very comforting to see you have grown so well. Unfortunately, my father was not the picture taking type but we did have one photo taken by the waterfall. It's just my brother and I in the photo. It's funny to look back and see how young we were. We had alot of fun there. Yes, I was shocked to see how much the place has stayed the same but is slightly changed. We caught more Walleyes there in 3 hours than I probably caught my entire life. I still have a map of the lake with the depths and contours on it and I still have the old business card from way back then. I had such a memorable time I kept a piece of rock from our shore lunch site. I keep them in an old box with things from the past. I was only 12 at the time but I had more fun than I knew what to do with. My father went to school for fish biology. So, we learned alot about fish and what they do very early in life. I will never stop my quest for knowledge on that subject. I remember I caught my first Lake Trout there. We also fished on some hump near the 2 islands out and around from the boat launch. That is where we caught over 200 Walleyes in about 3 hours. My brother wanted to stay and fish around the Lodge, so one of the guides thought he was a funny little kid and said he would watch him. He stayed there and fished with him. We caught a few big pike there too. We saw a monster of a fish close to 50 inches grab one of my Father's Walleyes and drag him to the bottom. We also got bit by alot of mosquitoes, but living in the U.P. of Michigan, we are quite used to it. Thanks again for the wonderful memories. Sincerely, -James Pryal Caddis Shack Fly Fishing Guide www.caddisshack.net