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      How old were you?     

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QueticoMike
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01/25/2020 09:12AM
How old were you when you first started fishing? How old were you when you first fished Quetico or the Boundary Waters?

I really didn't get started fishing until I was 9. My first trip to Quetico I was 23.
 
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ericinely
member (26)member
 
01/25/2020 09:14AM
Fishing when I was three or four. BWCA when I was 16, Quetico when I was 32 :)
 
GearGuy
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01/25/2020 09:27AM
Our dad got us going young. There's pictures of us running around in diapers with handfuls of worms in our hands, getting our fishing rods stuck in trees, squishing fishes eyes out with sticks, all that good stuff. Didn't come to the BW till I was 24 or so, been hooked ever since. Some places including Fish Stake Narrows and Curtain Falls I've felt this feeling like I was meant to encounter such a place and that my life wouldn't be what it is without those experiences.

It's funny. The places fishing will take you.
 
01/25/2020 09:32AM
Started at age 5, first boundary water trip was to Rams head at age 10.
 
Savage Voyageur
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01/25/2020 01:52PM
My first time I can remember fishing is on a dock at my uncles cabin. I was 7-8 years old. I casted my rod and caught my cousin Dave right in the ear. I remember pulling and thinking why isn’t my lure going in the water?

I first went fishing in the BWCA on Saganaga Lake in 1980 I was 23 years old.
 
cyclones30
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01/25/2020 01:57PM
Fishing since I could hold a pole, first BW trip at 14 or so thanks to dad.
 
Bearpath9
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01/25/2020 04:54PM
Must have been 5 or 6 when I first started. First time in the BW I was about13 or 14, with the Scouts. Never been to Quetico, and not sure I can ever get into Canada, due to a youthful indiscretion.
 
01/25/2020 08:57PM
First time fishing that I remember I was maybe 3? BWCA I was 21. Have not done the Q yet
 
H2OFanatic
member (8)member
 
01/25/2020 09:07PM
Hooked everyone in the family by the time I was 4. Thats when the folks tied a big yellow plastic toy fish on my line (no hook of course). I dropped it down off the dock and watched fish swim away from it or ignore it. Well you have never seen a more indignant 4 year old in your life. Eventually I wore them down and got my hook back and since I was already a master night crawler catcher I went directly back to catching sunnies and white perch on worms from my coffee can.

The first trip to the BW was after college, I had heard about it from my more fortunate canoe club buddies and it sounded like paradise. Ordered Beymer's books, fisher maps and drove 20 hours to find out if spots like "Fish Stake Narrows" and "Never Fail Bay" on Lac La Croix could possibly live up to their names.

:-) They DID!!!
 
01/25/2020 09:21PM
Started fishing at age 9 back in Connecticut. I can remember riding my bicycle with my fishing rod strapped to my bike. I went to ponds and quarries in search of bass. Then as a teenager, I moved on to Salt Water fishing as we only lived 8 miles from Long Island Sound. Stripped Bass and Bluefish were my fav’s. Occasionally I would go with my dad and brothers and fish for sharks.

Went to Quetico for the 1st time in 1979 at age of 25. Have gone to the Q every year since.
 
overthehill
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01/25/2020 10:03PM
Age 15. that was 48 years ago.
 
jhb8426
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01/26/2020 12:10AM
I'll be the odd man out here...
Probably first fished when I was 5 or 6 fishing off the dock on a small lake in Roseville. My dad was one of those guys that went out early in the morning and came in late in the afternoon and too bad if you were ready to quit for the day. Totally killed my interest in it at about age 10. My own son expressed interest when I was 40 or so so we went. He loves it. Enjoy it occasionally now but it's not a destination on any trip.
 
WhiteWolf
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01/26/2020 01:08AM
Learned the ropes early growing up on lake. 4-5 I guess


First fishing in BW was 21. As was first trip and total greenhorn.
 
QueticoMike
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01/26/2020 08:31AM
overthehill: " Age 15. that was 48 years ago."

First time fishing or first time to the Boundary Waters or both?
 
x2jmorris
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01/26/2020 08:33AM
My father was born and raised next door to the bwca... well it wasn't quite there yet when he was born. So I have been going to the bwca since I was born and that is also the first place I fished. I'm sure I have always had a pole but I don't recall when they actually gave me a real hook. If its like my daughter I would have been 3.
 
blutofish1
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01/26/2020 10:12AM
I was around 5 when I got my first rod and reel. My first trip was 1987 at age 26. We just did day trips while staying at a cabin at a resort that is still around today.
 
gymcoachdon
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01/26/2020 11:20AM
I have a memory of fishing with my dad and family, and him cleaning a mess of bluegill for a family dinner that night. I was probably 6 or 7. I started fishing more on my own around 12, and got serious when I was in college. That was when I read about the BWCA, and the awesome smallmouth fishing. I didn't go until I was 49! But I have gone North every year since, and I will turn 54 while in Quetico this summer!
 
jillpine
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01/26/2020 12:09PM
Cane pole and worms from the backyard, catching sunnies at Vilas, taught by Mom. Age 3
BWCA - First years were mostly portage and paddle as fast and far as possible - no fishing. I think first fishing was around 1985.
Q - never been
Wabakimi - 2020 with my 20 yr old son, who started at ice out the year he was born, around age 5 months, in my backpack while fishing for trout. Nice and cheap back then.


 
overthehill
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01/26/2020 12:18PM
QueticoMike: "overthehill: " Age 15. that was 48 years ago."


First time fishing or first time to the Boundary Waters or both?"
First time fishing was probably 6-8.
 
KarlBAndersen1
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01/26/2020 12:22PM
I think when you're born into a fishing family there is no real starting age.
I don't ever remember starting. I just always WAS.
I began fishing Ontario in 86. I was 32.
They won't let me into Canada any more. I deeply regret never being able to fish the "Q".
 
01/26/2020 04:53PM
Must have been 5-6 or so, at least that’s when I actually caught fish, I think I tagged along prior to that. First BWCA trip must have been 10-11, somewhere in there, Alpine lake via SeaGull.
 
QueticoMike
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01/26/2020 05:14PM
Ragged: "Must have been 5-6 or so, at least that’s when I actually caught fish, I think I tagged along prior to that. First BWCA trip must have been 10-11, somewhere in there, Alpine lake via SeaGull. "

Thanks for sharing the throwback photo :)
 
AmarilloJim
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01/27/2020 07:50AM
Some of my first memories of life are fishing with my dad so maybe 3. Cane poles and worms in the creek he used to fish as a kid behind my grandma's house. We went to the BWCA the first time in 77' when I was 12.
 
moray
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01/27/2020 08:15AM
I can’t remember the age I first started fishing but my Dad had my brothers and I fishing young. He took us fishing all over Massachusetts from inland waters bass and trout to coastal trips for cod and mackerel This love of fishing has continued for all of us. We have taken a family fishing trip to NH or ME almost every spring for the last 30 years. My father turns 95 next month and will be fishing with us again this year! I had dreamt of a BW trip since my early 20’s but didn’t make my first trip until 5 years ago. Now I try to get 2 trips a year in.
 
PikeEatPike
member (46)member
 
01/27/2020 08:39AM
Started fishing when I was 4, not sure this counts but we did some remote canoe in with our rural Boy Scout troop into remote Canada when I was 13 and 14. HOOKED!!! I was 29 when I first paddle in "the" BWCA.
 
VaderStrom
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01/27/2020 09:01AM
I must've started fishing with grandpa when I was 4 or 5. He used to take us to his favorite childhood fishing hole named "Sunny Cove". We would take the big blue rowboat over there every evening after dinner in the summers. As the younger brother, I was always the one in his boat and my brother was with mom and dad. Grandpa also taught me to "drive" while sitting on his lap on those back roads and showed me a lot more along the way. We laid him to rest a mile or two from the village where he grew up a few years ago.

My first BWCA trip was a 3 generation trip with grandpa, his best friend and their boys and grandsons. We went in on Sag and stayed on an island where we went skinny dipping, played games and caught football sized bass, walleyes and countless northerns from shore. It was the start of what makes the BWCA such a nostalgic and treasured place for me. I've been up to the BWCA with each of my closest loved ones now and can't wait to take up my nieces and nephew someday, and Lord willing, my own kids after that.

It's one of the greatest gifts of time spent you could ever give someone, now, more than ever.
 
missmolly
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01/27/2020 10:00AM
I'm guessing I first fished at eight or nine. My first trip to canoe country was at 15. I bicycled to Canada. My dad delivered a boat and then I biked home. Spent five weeks on a lake south of Missanaibi. I actually grew tired of fishing and eating fish.
 
BearBurrito
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01/27/2020 11:09AM
Started fishing when I was 4, I have never fished in BWCA. I don't go to fish.
 
MarshallPrime
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01/27/2020 12:17PM
Fishing 1985- 8ish years old
BWCA- 2005 28 years old (every year since minus years below for Quetico trip)
Quetico- 2015 38 years old, 2018, 2020

Started fishing with my Grandpa back in 85 or so in local ponds/small lakes here in Northern Indiana. Never EVER did any real fishing or canoe trips.
Had never heard of the Boundary Waters until I started teaching in 2001 and we do a middle school trip with 7th and 8th graders (which I am now in charge of, since 2007) and went in 2005 as a chaperone.
Now I CANT go a year without a trip. I SO wish I could do more than 1 a year but because of distance, family and other issues, I consider myself very lucky I get my 1 trip a year, usually June or early July.
 
GopherAdventure
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01/28/2020 09:10AM
I probably started around 4 or 5, both my dad and grandpa spent their weekends fishing so I was right along with them. Growing up in Minneapolis, it’s a short bike ride to tons of fishing locations. Once pulled a 5 lb walleye out of Lake Nokomis when I was a middle schooler and I can remember sitting on a rock at the confluence of the Minnehaha Creek and Mississippi River with a can of corn pulling in carp one after the other. My dad bought a boat in ‘86 and that’s when fishing really ramped up and we started doing Ontario, Mille Lacs and Rainy Lake trips. Sadly, those trips are probably why I wasn’t introduced to the BW until I was 32. 7 years later, I’ve got a cabin right outside the BW and 20+ trips under my belt. My two oldest kids (8 & 6) can handle a rod, and my 3 year old is starting this year. Haven’t fished the Q yet, but plan to very soon.

Tony
 
Oldtown13
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01/28/2020 02:21PM
I don't know how old I was, but I remember getting my Snoopy pole and practicing my casting with a yellow casting plug in the yard. Started going to Boundary Waters around 8 or 9, Quetico around 11.
 
mrballast
member (50)member
 
01/28/2020 03:50PM
Starting age: unknown. I had a red 3' fiberglass pole witha Zebco 33 before I had memories of my age. I remember creek fishing with it for warmouth, sun grannies and redeye (rockbass) before I started school. I still had it last time I looked.

I think I was 27 or 28 for first trip to BW. Was recovering from a brutal upper respiratory infection. Still didnt keep me from being hooked. 10th trip this year at 36. It will be my son's 5th or 6th...but it will be our first Father/Son trip. He is now 12.
 
Z4K
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01/31/2020 01:22AM
I probably fished 20 times in my life prior to turning 25, if you count my first BWCA trip to Perent/Isabella as 1 time. I was 15. Since turning 25 I've fished over 50 days a year and I've been to the BWCA another dozen times or so. I'm 32 now and deeply in love with both of them.
 
QueticoMike
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02/01/2020 10:17AM
Z4K: "I probably fished 20 times in my life prior to turning 25, if you count my first BWCA trip to Perent/Isabella as 1 time. I was 15. Since turning 25 I've fished over 50 days a year and I've been to the BWCA another dozen times or so. I'm 32 now and deeply in love with both of them."

Sounds like you got hit with the fishing bug! Good for you! I fish about 200 times a year right now. It all depends what the river that I live on looks like with water clarity and levels that determine how many days I actually get to fish each year. I usually get about 18 to 30 days each year on top of that up in the north woods.
 
mgraber
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02/04/2020 01:45AM
First time fishing was 3, at least that is what I'm told. First time to fish BWCA was 43 and first time to fish Quetico was 46 (9 years ago). My family had been fishing/boating/canoeing Minnesota since I was a kid, but didn't do a BW trip until I got married to my present canoeing buddy:)
 
lundojam
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02/04/2020 06:14AM
Baby fishing, 15 in the BWCA.
 
QueticoMike
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02/05/2020 08:47AM
lundojam: "Baby fishing, 15 in the BWCA."

Fishing for babies is not legal in Quetico.
 
I-Hawk
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02/05/2020 09:02AM
I started fishing around age 4 on our family vacation at a resort we went to for years. I was 17 when I first fished Quetico. A friend and I spent 14 days in the Q which was our first trip up north.
 
inspector13
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02/05/2020 10:56AM

I was fishing before going to kindergarten at either 3 or 4 years old. One set of grandparents lived on a lake in Burnett County Wisconsin and the other on the Cannon River. I remember when the water in the Cannon was relatively clear. There used to be a huge mussel bed right off the bank. My first fishing trauma was getting hooked in the hand while fishing for trout in Heath Creek. Trout are long gone from those waters. At the Lake my other grandparents kept a cane pole for me and I would fish for Sunnies with canned corn right off the dock.

I was 22 in 1983 when I first visited the BWCA and Quetico. We only had time to fish one night on that trip. Right off the bat we learned the lesson of not keeping fish on the stringer overnight up there!

 
Sandman2009
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02/05/2020 08:33PM
5 for fishing, 31 years old 1st trip to BWCA.
 
Frenchy
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02/08/2020 06:18AM
First started fishing at 5-6. First time in BWCA was 10 in 1964. My father and his friends were adventurous and loved the Ely area. Dads first canoe was canvas which he covered with fiberglass in later years for durability.
 
moosedoggie
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02/08/2020 06:58AM
I've been fishing as long as I can remember so I must have been around 4 or 5.

I was 20, about to turn 21, when I did my first BWCA trip in college.
 
02/08/2020 08:26AM
Probably 7. It's the first year we took annual week long vacations to Eagle River, Wi. I also went to Hayward, Wi. with just my father for Memorial day weekend. Always in a cabin on the lake, I started with a cane pole off the floating swimming "raft" and then graduated to a zebco closed faced set up. I got serious around age 12 when under the Christmas tree was a Mitchell 300 reel and some rod I forget.

I learned my chops at ponds near the house I could walk or bike to. Bullheads, bluegill, and largemouth bass were there. I first went to the BW when I was 23.

 
02/08/2020 09:34AM
Just did fishing for sunny's and bass at the cabin in New Hampshire when I was little. My family were not fisher-people. Then in my teen years my friends families took me serious walleye and bass fishing and I caught the bug. Moved to MN in the early 90's and was introduced to the BWCA. Been going even since!
 
prizes14
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02/08/2020 04:23PM
I was 30 for my first BWCA trip and went with my dad who was 64 for his first time in 2012. I had never heard of the BWCA but my dad said it was a place he had always wanted to visit so we both decided to go for the first time. Been back every year since then.
 
ParkerMag
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02/11/2020 07:53AM
Started fishing at 3-4 I suppose - I know it was early since we grew up on a lake in the summer. 1st time to BW I was 12 when I went to Camp Voyageur. Didn't make it to Quetico or Woodland Caribou 'till I was 50+ - a real regret, waiting that long.
 
Derrski
 
02/11/2020 08:00PM
Started fishing about 3 years old using a drop line over the side of boat. First BWCA trip I was 40
 
LittoralZone
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02/13/2020 08:13PM
Dad started taking me fishing when I was 8 or so, can't remember exactly when.

I didn't ever know about the Boundary Waters until I was 22, late 1988. A few family members and I talked about making a trip the following summer, but it didn't happen. Then I started seeing Jerry McKinnis and coach Bobby Knight on The Fishin' Hole up in the Quetico catching huge smallies and badly wanted to go. In 1994 (age 28) I finally made it to the BWCAW. Next trip was in 1998 and that was my first trip to Quetico and first solo trip.
 
OldTripper
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02/14/2020 11:05AM
First time fishing? With my dad at a very young age of 5 or 6. (maybe younger?)
First time by myself, running off to local creeks or ponds? 8-10
First time in the BW? 14-15
First solo in the BW? 17
 
02/15/2020 09:57AM
LittoralZone: "Then I started seeing Jerry McKinnis and coach Bobby Knight on The Fishin' Hole up in the Quetico catching huge smallies and badly wanted to go.
"


That was an inspiration for me as well. I also had a subscription to Fishing Facts magazine and Spence Petros wrote an article about going to Burt Lake in the Quetico. After that I started my plans. I wish I had kept those old issues of that magazine. I remember when Buck Perry and his spoon plugging technique was all the rage. Then the first soft twister tails came out - Mr. Twister! Ah, the good old days. I remember putting in orders to Menomonee Falls, Wi.
 
CCBBSpeckled
 
02/19/2020 04:17PM
6 or 7 for first started fishing

22 for first BW trip
 
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