Does heredity make good anglers? I don’t know if Izaac Walton covered that topic in his fishing bible (The Compleat Angler, of 1653), but the Chisholm boys in the 20th Century cause me to wonder.
If it’s true, Steve and Robin Chisholm came by their talent, first, through their father Sandy whom I remember as rarely going anywhere near water without a fishing rod in his hand. They also may have picked it up through their mother June’s genes. Her father Kenneth With, also a very keen angler, may have inherited his talent through his mother Amy Walton. We believe she was descended from Izaak.
Now, there is also a birding aspect to the following anecdote. First, I must explain that myself, my sister June (and eventually all her own family, the Chisholms) spent a lot of summer time together with our cousin Betsy Hegnauer (married name Elizabeth Angelakas) at Wahnuhke in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s. Betsy, like me, became a birder and we were especially interested in the Common Loon which is abundant in the nesting season around the shore of Georgian Bay.
So, confusing as all that may seem, in the following anecdote you can be certain of Robin and his father sharing a love of fishing. You can also be aware that Robin knew of Betsy’s love of loons. You should also know that Sandy, June and Betsy are no longer with us, but they have their ashes scattered close to Georgian Bay, and perhaps their “presence” lingers.
A favourite place for Robin to camp and fish close to Georgian Bay is Six Mile Lake, just north of Port Severn. In September, 2019, he was trolling there in his kayak with a rubber minnow. He continues:
“Just as I rounded a point, a loon popped up less than 10 feet from me and started calling out. I had to reel in as fast as possible. Didn’t want to catch a loon!
“In a bay just around the corner from where I was are Dad’s ashes. Whenever I’m there I spend some time floating next to him. So far, every time I leave that bay I catch a largemouth bass at the entrance.
“So I say, ‘Hi Dad. I’m good.’ And let him go.”
Catch and release? Probably a good idea. Same for friendly loons. Because you just never know…