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The Creaking Floor


Bobby Bass

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The Creaking Floor, a Fire Ring Story

This time of year we are deep into making plans for fishing trips for the upcoming fishing season. Since I have been fishing for more years then I am willing to admit I have had a few fishing adventures. There have been good trips and so so trips and trips that I don't even want to remember but they all seem to have something in common... A creaking floor. My house is an old house better than a hundred and twenty years old and no matter what we do to update it we will always have creaking floors. So every fishing trip starts out with getting out of bed and walking across the creaking floor to the creaking floor of the bathroom and then trying to make it quietly down the creaking stairs to the waiting truck and boat on the creaking trailer.

When we go on our fishing trips I am always looking for that creaking floor that tells me the floor has been there for a while and has some stories to tell. When I was younger trips were made more often. During the winter we would book a cabin at some lake we had never heard of and then come early summer we would be on our way. It got to be that as soon as I entered the cabin I would walk across the floor and listen for the tell tale creaks of well-worn traveled floor. Some of the cabins didn't make a sound, plywood floors nailed over heavy wood joists. Others would creak and pop as you walked across. These were the floors made from slab wood and attached to logs that mice had chewed on. Funny these kinds of floors were on lakes that we always did well on.

From modern cabins with running water and carpet on the floor to "Rustic" cabins where you had to be careful where you stepped the creaking floor has always been a sign of good fishing for me. Maybe the creaking floor is just something you grow comfortable with as you age. No one wants a creaking floor when they buy a new house, they want it quiet. They look at a creaking floor as a sign of something wrong. I look at it as a sign of something used. Might be the reason why I creak so much. I get up in the morning and my bones creak. Not much I can do about it except think about why they do, creak that is. Hauling canoes on trails far away from roads make my shoulders creak. Cranking on the trailer winch pulling the boat up at dusk from a little lake tucked away out in the middle of nowhere might be the reason my back creaks. Knees creak from maybe to many miles walking tote roads and stepping over down trees covered in fallen leaves. Chasing new pups through wet ditches and watching their parents work cover might be another reason. Hips might creak from riding in old well-worn pickups with bad springs on washboard roads. Or sitting on old wood planks for seats in the rowboat bouncing in a walleye chop.

They might creak like them wood floors, they might have gotten older and have settled some. Maybe the weight of all them good memories make them creak. My big old lab Bud struts across the floor in his old man's gait and the floor creaks under him. I am sure he has a lot of good memories and maybe that is why it creaks for him. They say the creaking wheel gets the grease but when you grease it, it does not go away, it just gets quiet. It's still there just like all of them memories you have, just sometimes you need to hear a little creak to pay attention again.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • redlabguy
      Mark, Glad your crew had another great outing. It’s always good to read your reports. Just wish there were more of them like the old days. Sorry you hit the storm. One of the worst in our 14 years. We’ll be dealing with dock issues for a long time but nothing like the good folks in Cook have.  The fishing has come around a little since the storm. Definitely nightcrawler now. I don’t get far out of Frazer but the reefs are where the action is. Looking forward to hearing from you in September.  My best to you and Linda, RLG p.s. Our good old red lab, Ole, cashed it in last summer, but we have a 6 month old lab now who is learning the ropes up here (and teaching us we’re older than we think we are!)
    • Mike89
    • leech~~
      No can see?  
    • smurfy
      yeppers......nuttin more aggravating the boat motor issues!!!!!!!   what was the problem the first time???????
    • Hookmaster
      Nice fish Kettle. Hope it's really "fixed" next time.
    • Rivergroup
      Our group will be returning in September as well. Wish we were able to be there now to lend a hand.
    • smurfy
      dang...tough to hear..........hope the good people up there recover soon!!!!!!!!!
    • MarkB
      We just returned this afternoon from 6 days on Vermilion. We arrived Saturday and enjoyed 3 fantastic days of walleye fishing. My cousin, our friend Greg, and myself fished several of our spring spots and found fish on all of them. Water temperatures were pretty much 65-67 degrees everywhere we fished. The wind was variable and made boat control a challenge at times. Bait was not an issue and we had success on crawlers(Tim), leeches(Greg), and minnows(me). If I had to pick one of those as catching the most fish, it would be crawlers. Our best day totalled 48 walleyes, 4 smallmouth, and 2 big JUMBOS. We ended up with over a hundred walleyes, 12 jumbos 11"-13", and 10 smallmouth to 18". Our biggest walleye was 24.5" and the balance went from 13"-22". There are lots of 14"-16" walleyes this year which are perfect eaters. The mayfly hatch was in full bloom in some areas but we found very few mayflies in the water column over rock reefs. We caught our fish in depths ranging from 10' to 32'. I didn't fish in any area where I could see mayflies top to bottom in the water column. Slow trolling in the .3mph to .6mph worked and we caught nothing using slip bobbers. Terminal tackle was a 3'-4' 10# flurocarbon leader, 2 lime colored beads, and a plain #6 Gamakatsu walleye hook . Snags are always an issue when fishing in and around the rocks and when the fish are biting they are acceptable. NOW, for the bad news.......Tuesday was a day I won't soon forget. The area suffered devastating torrential rainfall. Lightning was non-stop for several hours and when things settled down, flood damage was everywhere. We checked our rain guage on the side of the cabin and we got 7 3/4 " in a little over 4 hours! Breezy Point road washed out, Mud Creek road washed out as did several others in the area. Cooke business area was completely covered with flood water. I would consider it a disaster area and should be declared as such. We couldn't find a dock anywhere that wasn't covered with water. People were stranded behind flood covered and washed out roads. Dock decking, limbs and such were floating everywhere in the big water. My group sends our prayers to the people of that beautiful country that lost their businesses, homes, and suffered damage to their lake properties. The people of that north country are resilient and we have confidence that they will recover. We stayed our final 3 days but didn't fish at all Tuesday. Our last 2 days showed the effects of the storm. Water temps dropped to 64 degrees and our premo fishing became 10 walleye days. We did manage to catch a dozen really nice jumbos. We plan on returning in September and we pray the area will have returned to normal by then. I haven't figured out how to transfer photos from my phone to my computer yet so no pictures at this time. Good Fishing and God be with you. MarkB
    • SkunkedAgain
      Word is that the river has peaked and therefore the town can start the process of recovering sooner.
    • smurfy
      Heard that too. Also heard 38 was closed for a but north of rapids due to flooding.    I know the water really came up when I was up last week compared to when I was there in April. 
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