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The Rule of “Last”

David Lynema (left) and Randy Boike

“Just one last fish and we’ve caught our limit.” Randy Boike, David Lynema and I knew we were pushing the edge of getting back to the lodge in day light. If we stayed too much longer we’d be in the dark for part of our 2.5 hour return trip which included crossing 5 lakes, shooting 2 narrow rapids and making 2 long walks through the woods.

But we wanted to catch “just one last fish.”

Maybe not the safest decision when you’re in the northern Ontario bush.

And it’s especially not good when catching that last fish leads to an unplanned swim in a very cold Canadian lake, at the end of a very long day, at the end of September.

But that’s what happened on the last day of the SpringHill fishing trip. I caught the last fish, a big one (and it gets bigger every day). As I was lifting it into the canoe (I was solo) it tipped and I ended up in a very cold lake wearing way to much cotton.

Thanks to the cool heads of Randy and Dave and the inflatable vest Denise has sworn me to wear when I’m fishing in a canoe I ended up rescued, dried and warm before anything serious happened.

The whole thing turned out to be a humorous adventure rather than a disastrous event, for which I’m grateful.

But I couldn’t help recalling the rule my friend John McAuley instituted at his camp, Muskoka Woods, called “the rule of last.”

Whenever his staff hears “just one last time?” or something similar, they’re to make sure that the “last time” doesn’t happen. Why? Because their experience tells them it’s that “last time” when many accidents occur.

And I now know this rule’s universal and should apply to fishermen as well especially when they say “just one last fish”.

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