As the years pass by I’ve realized that making memories is as important as anything, maybe even more so than landing a big fish, winning a tournament or some of the other things that over the years I thought were milestones in my career. As I get older I realize that it’s the special moments that are what life’s really all about.
It could be a trip that you’ve done with a friend; it could be a fishing day on the water that was incredible with lots of laughs; it could be as crazy as getting caught in a rainstorm with your fishing partner. As I go through life, making memories is something that I will always cherish. Obviously, there’s been some good, some bad and some ugly ones, but they’re all memories.
An example of a good memory was this past fall when I was up at Killarney Mountain Lodge. We caught fish, had some incredibly tasty meals and shared some good laughs. And of course, a lot of the best memories are really about the people that you’ve been with when you’ve had some of these experiences.
In this case, my companions were John P. Allen and Brian Good, who have each celebrated more than 40 years in the music business. Between the two of them, these musicians have won 14 Juno awards. John has played with the Tysons, Tommy Hunter, The Good Brothers, and Prairie Oyster. Brian has been a member of The Good Brothers for 47 years. These guys have travelled the world and played for thousands of people over the years, yet the three of us made a great memory simply sharing a boat during our three days at Killarney Mountain Lodge.
I met Brian through John. My wife and I went to visit John when he was in the hospital in 2019. He was in dire need of a new heart and didn’t have long to live. It was during that visit that I said, “If you get a heart and pull through this we’ve got to go on a fishing trip.” Fortunately, he did get a heart and the transplant was successful. He was in the hospital for three months prior to getting the transplant. It's a miracle that he pulled through
John then introduced me to Brian, who had organized a fundraiser for John when he was going through his tough times. I found out that Brian liked fishing—he ended up purchasing the fishing equipment I had donated for this fundraiser, so John and I thought it would only be fitting that Brian joined us on this fishing excursion at Killarney Mountain Lodge.
I can tell you that spending three days with these two talented and successful guys created a memory that I’m sure they’ll never forget and that I will cherish for the rest of my life. They had each composed their own original song for me prior to the trip. Brian's song was called, “Fishing with Bob.” John’s acoustic violin and guitar song were named, “Bob Izumi’s Revenge.” I was both honoured and flattered that these guys composed these numbers and performed them for me, my crew, and the guests during our stay in Killarney. Not only are these two great guys, but they’re also fun to be with.
We shared a lot of stories during our time up there and that’s really what memories are made of. It’s the experiences that you share with somebody and that’s one thing about fishing that I will say. It’s the perfect way to bond with somebody. It doesn’t matter if it’s a family member, a friend, a neighbour, or somebody that you just met. When you're there in the great outdoors in a beautiful setting—perhaps on the northern part of Lake Huron, in a boat spending quality time with two amazing people—I will say that you don’t get a better recipe for making a memory.