The early bird gets…hooked!
Jun. 06, 2013
In September 2012, we interviewed the last guest of last season, Nick Leitch, and got a little insight on why he enjoys his Aikens Experience at the end of the season, coincidently the end of summer.
Several guests plan their annual trip to correspond with the Opening Week. This is partly due to the great “Early Season Sale” but is due mainly to guests’ affinity for the rebirth of Nature. That time of year is synonymous with the return of the migratory birds in the sky, with the occasionally public display of new-born calves and cubs on the shores while the post spawn fishery begins its migration back to their summer haunts, leaving the spawn beds full with millions of hatchlings and thus completing the cycle of life under water. The big Walleye and Northern Pike females cruise the shallows looking to replenish along monster Lake Trout who come shallow to gorge themselves in the bays of plenty. ( note: Lake Trout, unlike most species in Aikens Lake, spawn in the Fall.) Ravenous fish are readily “ hitting” and sometimes “ destroying” the jigs, spoons and lures that taunt them. Big fish are carefully and quickly photographed and released while smaller “eaters” are sized up for the long awaited Aikens Lake Shorelunch, certainly one of the pillars of the Aikens Experience for every guest.
One person sure to show up at the dock on opening Saturday every year is Doug Ingerson from Denver CO. We chatted with Doug to get a unique perspective on “ his “ Aikens Experience.
Gerry: Tell us about your connection to Aikens Lake and how you started your long history of spring adventures up here.
Doug: We started in 1991 as a family outing. My father and my uncle Chuck wanted to bring my cousin Cliff and me on a Canadian Fly-in Fishing trip. My Dad and uncles went to a few sportshows and gathered information. My Dad talked to you at the Minneapolis Sportsmen Show and in the end wanted to choose Aikens Lake. That became the place for us right away and has been ever since.
Gerry: in over twenty years here, you must have had some experiences that stand out. Tell us about your most memorable moments.
Doug: Well, I don’t know that there is one or only one. For me, it’s more about the physical and mental state we get into here. I have my space here. Just spending time here with my Dad every spring and all the good times we shared. Meeting all the people here, and everyone making you feel like you’re part of the family… So it’s not one time or one moment. It’s different every year. There is something new every year, new staff, some different guests and weather conditions, but it’s the same great time every year. To me it’s simple, I call it “coming to Aikens “!
Gerry: Roger, your father and fishing buddy has been gone for a couple of years, yet you maintain a special connection, tell us about that.
Doug: Well, one of his favorite places was Stange Bay. Every year in the spring, there is a little brook that runs down through the rocks at the North end. I spread some of his ashes there so I go there to visit and say a few words to him. I look at that as his place. I fell close to him there so I fish there a lot, like we use to do together. It was really a special day for me today as I was able to catch a Master Walleye right by that brook. Maybe we should name that “ Big Rog’s Rock “ there…or something?
Gerry: OK, it’s time for the last question which is to describe your Aikens Experience in on word.
Doug: One word…it’ll take me second here… can’t do it… it’s just a fantastic experience in Nature!
Gerry: OK, we’ll let you get away with three of four wo…
Doug: …because when you get out here there are very few rules and you are free in Nature. As long as you respect and treat the environment and the fishery properly, it will return to us everything we put into these trips and more…you can’t put that into one word…one thing is for sure… this is the place for us…
Gerry: Thanks for sharing your compelling Aikens Experience with us. Congratulations on your Master Walleye today. I’m sure that everyone agrees to give Roger an assist on that one. Your story is so very appropriate with Father’s day coming up and I’m sure you’ll join the entire Aikens organization in wishing every father in the world a …
Happy Fathers Day!!