by Jon Hedin
Every year Tim and I fish the Mississippi River in the spring and every year we end up fishing with a guy named Doc. He's a retired dentist who has been fishing the Mississippi forever. Whenever we see him, he's armed with a fly rod and a box full of flies. Tim and I have run into some slow times on the river, but usually we find out what to use after we spy on Doc (although lately he's been telling us as soon as we see him).
We start cruising up the river before daylight, usually in sub-zero temperatures, dodging icebergs and sandbars along the way. You really have to love fishing a lot to go out in this climate!
When we get close to the access, we usually start wondering if Doc will beat us to the spot. It's always a surprise to see this 80-year-old, retired dentist, in our spot every year. But then again, if seniority counts, I guess we were in his spot! This is where the big sunfish hang out. Usually in less than two hours we have a good start on two limits of sunfish. After another two hours we have to rest, although we don't want to. It's just one of those spots at the right time of the year.
I know that one of these years Doc won't be there anymore, but as the river flows and the fish swim up the river so that Doc, Tim and I can catch them, we can have a good time for just one more fishing trip. I guess that's the way it's supposed to be.
"Doc" is what the Ultimate Sportsmen is all about.