Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Goodbye to My Fishing Friend

As I have written before, getting older means that eventually you will lose some of your good fishing friends.  Of course as we age, so do our friends and it's just part of life.  Last Friday morning I received one of those calls that one never expects, my friend Russ died last night of a massive heart attack.  The problem is that Russ had just turned 40.   The suddenness of it all is somewhat overwhelming however.  Russ was married to our good friend Jessica, a new opportunity, yet our relationship did not start out exactly seeing eye to eye.  I suppose the 15 years of age difference and our backgrounds was enough to create some differences however one could see a good man underneath all of those defenses.  It took a few years and as time passed  found that we had more in common than not.  Often I would bring a new bait for him, a left over pedestal for his boat, a software program to share.  One thing that Russ became hooked on was fishing.  Having done little ice fishing and limited open water fishing, I was probably a bad influence on his fishing budget.  An ice auger off Craigslist, a end of the season ice house, a used 16 foot Lund with a 25 hp motor.  All those things that a guy definitely needs!  As time went on I took Russ to Mille Lacs, both ice fishing and open water fishing.  He has never experienced big water angling and it was interesting to see his reactions the first time we drove 5 miles off shore to fish a special area in the middle of the lake.  Russ had a blast.  Here is Russ with his son Cage. 

I had posted this picture last year when we had a chance to hit Mille Lacs.  It was the largest walleye he had ever caught and although it wasn't the most successful day, we had fun.  One of our favorite lakes to hit in the winter was Pelican Lake, just down the road from his house in St. Michael, MN.  A shallow lake, 12 feet at it's maximum, it is full of nice sized crappies and sunfish.  We could hit the lake in the mid afternoon, catching a nice mess of fish and be back by 7:00 in the evening.  I would like to think I was a good mentor to Russ.  Teaching him how to fish using a Vexilar FL-8 to the proper way he should interview for a job to helping him stay focused on having the confidence to forge ahead.   It probably explains why these things hurt so bad.  You invest time in a friendship, looking for a lifetime of sharing those rewards and sometimes it simply doesn't turn out that way.  God bless Russ and his family, I will miss you my friend.


Ben G. said...

sorry to hear about your friend Dave. It always sucks when you loose someone close to you.

You fish Pelican that's just down the road from me.

Anonymous said...


How you speak of Russ tells me so much about you as a person. You're a good man and I feel for your loss.

AK Keith

Dave Anderson said...


Thanks for the comment. Maybe I'll catch you at Pelican (if they don't drain if first). I enjoy hearing from new guys. Nice blog you have.


Yes it's tough but what can you do? Ice should be on Cove by this weekend, that's what! Thanks