One tradition will continue and another one will end April 20 at the annual Brainerd Elk's Fishing Fling.
For more than 20 years the Fling has been flung at the Elks Lodge on South Fourth Street. Next year it will move to Northeast Fourth Street, if plans for the Elks to share a building with the Moose go through.
The Fishing Fling serves as a de facto opening to the season. The actual opener is more than a month away, but anticipation is half the fun and there's no better cure for the open water blues than to talk fishing with other fishermen. Everybody goes home with a prize, though some, like the lighted plastic Budweiser sign I won last year, get stashed in a corner of the garage.
This year's guest speaker is Marv Koep, whose credentials need no embellishment here. Just last week I was talking to a former member of the Nisswa Guides League and we started listing all the famous fishermen who got their start guiding out of Marv's shop. While they all moved on to other ventures, Marv's still guiding today. Through sheer longevity his career might one day rank as the all-time greatest among Minnesota fishing guides. Know anybody who's been at it longer? I'll have to check with Joe Fellegy on that one.
This year's top five prizes include three days at Wigwam Resort on Lake of the Woods, two days ice fishing at Arnesen's on Lake of the Woods, two days at Superior Shores Lodge on Lake Superior, an Aqua Vu underwater camera and dinner for four on the Blue Goose launch on Mille Lacs.
Tickets are $45 and available from any Elks member or by phoning 829-2643. Doors open at 5 p.m., dinner is served at 7 p.m. and Marv will step up to the microphone at 8 p.m. All money raised goes to the Elks' Youth Program, which provides area students with scholarships.
No matter how you look at the Fishing Fling -- as a get-together of like-minded folks, a chance to win a prize, an educational fishing seminar or a worthy fund-raiser -- it's definitely fun and worth your time to attend.
See you there on April 20!
VINCE MEYER, outdoors editor, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5862
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