The Importance of a Fishing Buddy

I find that the scheming usually starts on Wednesday …

It is either an e-mail sent casually from work or an unexpected encounter in our small town. Very quickly, we get to the meat of the conversation and start throwing the plans down. The e-mail might say something like “Thinking of Fish Lake on Saturday or Snafu Pike on Sunday. You in?”

I am fortunate in that I have a half-dozen guys I can fish with on any given weekend. What makes this really interesting is that each of them is unique and results in an entirely different fishing experience.

For example, a fishing trip in Haines with Derek means about 12 solid hours on the water with us falling asleep over a hamburger at the Bamboo restaurant in the evening. That same trip with Murray means calling it quits after six hours and enjoying a few-too-many beers and a poker game at the hotel.

I am starting to get so comfortable with these guys that I know Kalin is always at least a half-hour late and always with a sandwich in hand for an evening fish. Scott and I enjoy learning from each other as we fly fish, whereas fishing with Steve generally involves watching in awe as he puts on a clinic. Dave just enjoys trying new areas and “fishing outside the box”.

Fishing with Carl, for Pike, always includes adrenaline and fishing weedbeds with top-water lures. A day on the same lake with Clint includes trolling at different speeds for lake trout in-between. All are enjoyable; they just require a different mindset.

It is that diversity that makes fishing in the Yukon never boring.

If I can’t rustle up a fishing buddy, I often take my dog. Sometimes enjoying a little canine companionship on the boat is all the interaction I need. He’s old and falls asleep right away, but I know he enjoys the fresh air and excitement as much as I do. Of course, it goes without saying that fishing with your spouse and kids is, in itself, a rewarding experience.

I am always amazed at how many people in the Yukon fish on a weekly basis. If you try hard enough, most casual encounters at work or on the street can lead to a discussion about fishing. If you are new to town and are looking to get introduced to fishing, put out the feelers on a daily basis and you would be surprised how many people there are to fish with.

Once you get that first invitation to go out, don’t expect that they will take you to their special, secret spot. These are reserved for those fishing buddies that have earned that trust. If you keep working at it, before long you will also be blessed with a group of fishing buddies to help you get out and enjoy the Yukon.

If you would like to share your fishing story or hear more about this one, visit Dennis Zimmermann’s Yukon fishing blog at

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