When I was in ninth grade, science teacher Ron Warren, having posed a question to the class, said, "Mr. Nigro, would you please stand up and give us the wrong answer."
I didn't do too bad scholastically during my junior high school years -- but I should have done better. The reason being, I seldom paid attention. A good deal of my classroom time was spent daydreaming about catching fish. Later, as my high school years were drawing to a close, instructor and fellow angler Don Andrews told me that, if I were ever to fall down and crack my head open, northern pike would spill out all over the floor.
My early pike fishing fantasies were limited to the Tonawanda Creek, occurring anywhere from Parker Grinnell's pasture to the entire stretch of creek downstream from Whiskey Run.
Sometime in my 20s the wilderness waters of the Far North beckoned, and those imagined scenarios began to take place in a land of muskeg and jack pines, places only accessible by float plane. But regardless of the location, those daydreams never involved catching a lot of pike, just one big tackle-smashing brawler that would inhale a wobbling spoon and peel line from my reel like a runaway freight train.
Before those dreams became reality, there was a short stint where I tried my hand at ice fishing. Back then I wasn't so bothered by the cold and pulling pike through the ice helped the winter months pass quickly.
Whether fishing in remote locations or close to home, the pursuit of northern pike provides a volume of memories. Yet after float-plane rides into the wilderness of Manitoba, the far north of Ontario, the barrens of the Northwest Territories, and along the way discovering the tenacity of wilderness lake trout, by the late '80s my zeal for pursuing the toothy northern had diminished a great deal. Thus, the stage was set for a most unexpected and exciting encounter with old esox lucious................stay tuned!