Another year has passed, and as I think back, it sure was packed.
This 40th year of my life was one that I won't soon forget. From Mills Fleet Farm to the Governor's Fishing Opener to another busy season on and off the water for our guide service, things were happening in '08.
This was our first full year at our new location in Nisswa, and so far, things are going fine. Everywhere you turn, there are signs of tough economic times, and all we can do is keep the faith and hope that the phone keeps ringing and the e-mails keep coming in the new year. Everyday seems to be an adventure when trying to run a business, a family and a life (not necessarily in that order). We have been blessed and we are excited to see what the next step will be.
In the fishing business, you need help, and thanks to many people, we are still making a run (the drag must be set perfectly). Our guides are great, and without them, our guide service wouldn't be what it is today.
There are so many people that have helped us out along the way, and we appreciate that. We also realize it's hard to please everyone and we have thickened up the skin quite a bit over the years.
We have some exciting plans in the works with Mills Fleet Farm, and I thank the Mills family for the opportunities that are knocking. Nisswa Marine and the Wiczek family has been instrumental in our success, and without them, I wouldn't have been able to run such solid, state-of-the-art equipment. The Ranger fishing boat I ran this past year was the best boat I have ever used for fishing. Now I know why so many people live and breathe Ranger boats.
I also have been able to run a Sno Bear for the past few years. Not quite sure if we will be able to adopt one for the remainder of this winter, but we'll see. I have a Wilcraft in the garage that I have used a couple of times, but with all of the snow piling up, I think I will let it rest for a while. The way things are going so far with this winter, maybe I should look into an airboat.
I am a bit hobbled because of a beat-up left knee, and until I can get it repaired, I'll be walking around like the big buck that has been working the woods where I hunted all fall. He must have been shot in the rear right leg or been hit by an auto. I'm hoping he can make it through the wicked winter. I will do my best to do the same.
I hope 2009 is a good one for you, your family and friends.
WALLEYEDAN Eigen may be reached at (218) 839-5598, walleyedan@brainerd. com or www.walleyedan.com.
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