Every fisherman knows that you can fish with almost anyone, because fishing is the thing you are most interested in and not necessarily the company.

Now some people are more interesting to fish with than others. Some of them are expert anglers, and you can learn new fishing techniques from them. Some of them are great conversationalists, and it makes the day go by talking with them. Sometimes they are youngsters, and you spend your time as a teacher, sharing with them the joy of fishing and hopefully bringing along the next generation of fisherman.

If you are fortunate, every once in a while, you come across that “perfect” partner for you, who makes every fishing trip you take special. It wasn’t always about the number or size of the fish you caught that made it special, it was more about the time spent together with your friend.

I think every fisherman has that partner out there and most of you know what I’m talking about: You just look forward to spending the day fishing with that person.

Sadly I lost my “perfect partner” this month, when my son lost his battle with cancer. Our fishing together began before he could walk. I would strap his car seat in the boat and take him out for an afternoon of fishing.

As he grew, his early summers on Vermilion Lake were spent with me being the teacher, bait-installer, and fish-remover. As he got a little older, he became more of a partner on the fishing trips learning more and more each year, and getting better and better at catching some really nice fish.

It made me proud to see the young man he had become and how skilled he had become as an angler. It will be difficult this summer fishing without him, going to our favorite spots for bass, northern pike and panfish, but I will keep on fishing and remembering the good times we had together in the boat for more than 20 years.

He’s with the ultimate fisherman now.

Until next time…keep a tight line.