Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Janine's Tall Tale

Janine Boudreau, Bill Kreutzberger's wife recounts a tale of fishing with Al.... along with a storyline that involves Al's nephew Skip Schwerdtfeger.

Janine Boudrou Nov 09

When I married into the Kreutzberger family, little did I know that it was a klan of tall-tale weavers whose themes inevitably centered on tales of fishing in the land of “UP NORTH.” 
There was the tale of the legendary Skip, who, as a young man with a growing family, spent his last $5 (much to the chagrin of his wife) to purchase a Rapella lure to fish at Al and Gail’s cottage on Post Lake.  Upon arrival, Skip  promptly went out fishing with Bill and lost the lure. The following morning, he and Bill went out fishing again, and damned if Bill didn’t get a snag – and when he pulled it up, he had Skip’s Rapella on the line!   Al, ever generous, gave skip $50 for the trip home since gas stations and restaurants didn’t accept Rappela’s – least that was the way Al told the story...
When Al Kreutzberger was a boy, his father brought the family “Up North” to Moore’s Springs, Minnesota every summer.  Al regaled us with tales of the big bass and northern pike that could be caught in the old days.  He also went raspberry picking with his mother, using a little bucket that I still have – and use!
Al brought his new bride, Gaile, ”UP NORTH”  for their honeymoon and returned years later with his sons.  So, it was only tradition, when my husband took me “UP NORTH” to the Boundary Waters for our honeymoon.
In the early years of our marriage, Bill and I spent many weekends with Al and Gaile at their cottage on Post Lake, Wisconsin. We fished for perch and crappie from the dock in the evenings and as we fished,  the talk would turn to the “big ones” Al and Bill had caught.  Oh those tales of muskies and northern pike in Minnesota and Canada!  How bit and monstrous they were!  How many they caught!
Frustrated with the little fish I was catching, I challenged them.  “Why don’t you take me to catch a ‘big one?”
So the next morning, bright and early, Bill, Al and I took off in the boat for Upper Post Lake, where Al reassured me, there were some big fish.  We waved off the mosquitoes and drank Tab after Tab in the hot son.  I got several nibbles, but when I reeled the line in – no fish! 
“Well, you gotta set the hook!” Al admonished me.  He gave his pole, held in those big hands of his, a nice little jerk.  Taking in his demonstration and determined more than ever to land a “big one,”  I waited for the next nibble on my line.  When it came, I jerked – and jerked hard!  Whizz!  Out of the water, arching high over our heads, and landing 10 yards behind us flew the biggest northern pike I had ever seen.  Unfortunately, I had jerked the hook clear out of its mouth.  Al laughed so hard that he cried.  “Now that was setting the hook!”  Later he told Gaile that we had seen some “flying fish” on Upper Post!

Gaile & Al 1984

1 comment:

  1. Debby-Ann & I also went UpNorth for our honeymoon-kind of. We just got as far as Door County, though and we didn't do any fishing.