As we sat at dinner I asked, "you bringing your rod and reel?"  

"Of course!" he replied, "already got it packed up."

It's been a little over a year since I first took him out and we began what hopefully will continue to be a great spring tradition.  What started as a dual bachelor party for my old roommate and I was repeated this year and we're already talking of our trip next year.  

If you're going to get someone in to fishing, whether it be spin or fly, it's always good to start with some of the best that the sport has to offer.  In that I mean, going to the best places and targeting what it's known for.  

For the last eight years a group of us has headed north, to the Lake Michigan side of Wisconsin and chased smallmouth in the flats around the Door County area.  We've had banner years with a number of fish over twenty three inches, days of fifty plus fish, and found most of the fish are happy to take a fly or a stick bait with a ferocity tough to describe.  We've also found ourselves battling cold weather, high winds, and white caps - mind you all while wading.  We always laugh as we plan the trip, trying to find the best weekend 6 months in advance, hoping we find the weekend where it might all come together.    

The last two years it's been fun to fish with him, hang with him and get to know him better.   Fishing makes friends, generates memories, going to the same place to fish with a group, well that creates a tradition.  It’s not so much about fishing sometimes as it is about being with a bunch of fishing buddies. This past year we didn't tear it up, but caught some solid fish, created some great memories, and rode around in style all weekend (even if it was just the trolling motor).  

He’d had a great time this trip and with summer over, he’s taking off for school. I think back to those times, when we were all excited to start another year, create another load of memories and cause a bit more trouble. Many of the same memories I look forward to creating with him as we continue our tradition, gathering up north to chase smallies, eat cheese curds and beef sticks and sip on Spotted Cow.