Doug Johnson and Chad Cain Talk Operation Muskie
Mar 10th, 2011 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Mar 10th, 2011 at 12:00 AM
Steve Worrall MuskieFIRST Welcomes Doug, Chad and Operation Muskie welcome gentlemen!
dougj: Hi Folks!
Chad Cain: Hey There
leech: should be good
Steve Worrall Let’s start out with a general description of Operation Muskie
Chad Cain: ten guides, 20 vets from Iraq and Afghanistan, four days of muskie fishing on Lake of the Woods.
dougj: I’ll give it a try. Started three years ago with Dick Pearson and others. We give 20 Vets a free as much as possible three and a half day of muskie fishing on the LOTWs out of Bay Store Camp.
dougj: Great way to honor some great folks!
lambeau: the 20 vets have been selected for 2011…out of almost 100 applicants, so very competitive to get in.
Steve Worrall How is Operation Muskie funded? Taking 20 Vets fishing in Canada has to be pretty expensive.
dougj: All donations and the on-line auction put on by MF.
Chad Cain: seems like the donations don’t come in as easy so the online auction is HUGE
Top H2o: Was last years event any different than the others, ie… better,bigger,,more interest, ect. How was the fishing?
dougj: Fishing was great! Otherwise the rest of the program hasn’t changed too much.
lambeau: interest in attending is definitely growing each year as word continues to spread amongst the military community.
Chad Cain: pretty much the same. Obviously more interest now that the word has gotten out.
lambeau: 2 vets got 50+” fish last year, a first for OM.
AW: When is the online auction?
Chad Cain: Many vets got their first muskie last summer!!!
dougj: Pretty good bunch of fishermen and great guys!
Steve Worrall So Operation Muskie needs support from all of us to continue…who does all the organization of items in the auction? That’s a big job…is there are need to acquire more items for this year?
lambeau: pretty cool watching a vet ring the big fish bell when they get off the water.
lambeau: i can respond about the auction…
dougj: Laumbeau is the head and does a great jib!
lambeau: it’s officially open! there’s a link to it on the website www.OperationMuskie.com and i’ve listed a fair amount of items so far with more to come. Yes, we could use more fi someone is looking to donate.
Top H2o: Are some of the vets disabled somewhat? and how do you guys go about making their week a success.
H: How much $$ needs to be raised to make this event possible?
lambeau: the “silent” auction runs from now until April 10, and the live online auction will be on Tuesday April 12th…hosted here in the MuskieFirst chatroom. (thanks, MF!)
dougj: Yes we’ve had some guys who have physical problems, but we and they seem to make that work!
lambeau: our budget target is $30,000 this year…to cover lodging, food, fuel, gear for the vets, etc.; OM is all-volunteer, so 100% of donations go directly to covering costs.
dougj: It takes somewhere around $30.000.00, but the price of gas won’t help.
Chad Cain: Doug guided a vet who had lost both legs to a 49 incher!!!
lambeau: doug…say a bit aobut fishing with John Kreisel (double leg amputee)
Chad Cain: sorry lambeau, we were thinking alike
dougj: Yes John is a great story. Lost both legs to an IED in Iraq, but ended up runnign and winning as a state Rep in the South St Paul district. Great guy!
Chad Cain: I hear we are going to have two female vets this summer!!
Top H2o: I’ll bet there are some real good stories to be heard around the campfire every night…..I’d like to go just for that.
dougj: Some great stories!
lambeau: when vets apply, we ask them to share any injuries/disabilities…of course, most of them don’t (pride) so we learn about them around the campfire.
Chad Cain: The campfires are priceless.
Steve Worrall What is the schedule like each day for the Vets?
dougj: Breakfast in their room, bag lunch on the lake, back for supper around 5:00, and back out fishing till dark.
lambeau: and then beer!
lambeau: Chad: how do you approach guiding vets who may never have been muskie fishing before?
Chad Cain: usually on water by 8:30 in the morning, just depends on how late the campfires go!
Jimmy B: and martini’s for lambeau
dougj: Not everyone does this, it’s sort of up to the Vets as to how much time they want to spend fishing. We want the Vets to enjoy there selves.
Chad Cain: That one is pretty easy since I do it on a fairly regular basis while guiding full time. Patience is the key
trophy hi-fin: Given that both you guys have spent a lot of time on the water with a lot of different personality types…………..I would only imagine that these vets are a tad “less impatient” when it comes to angling expectations. If every thing boiled down to quality, judged only by size at that given time of year, would you fish any different location/presentation wise?
dougj: Sort of depends on the Vets fishing expertise. Some are “muskie” fishermen, but many aren’t. I don’t try to make it hard to do.
Top H2o: Do you guys change boat partners every day with the vets ?
dougj: Lots of top waters, believers and small bucktail. For the die hards it’s DCG’s. I troll at times with inexperienced guys.
Chad Cain: On the days where you might get a couple vets that are muskie nuts, then you bear down and pound the water as hard as you can. With much less experienced fisherman, you kind of feel them out and ease into it. Just want to make it a very enjoyable experience for them.
Chad Cain: Yes, we switch vets each day
dougj: They draw for guides each evening
lambeau: the trip this year will be in late June…what are you guys expecting in terms of fish location/techniques?
Chad Cain: Help Doug!!
dougj: It’s a great experiennce for the guides also!
Chad Cain: I would imagine weeds, weeds, weeds
Top H2o: How are the accommodations.?
dougj: Well, sort of depend on how soon the ice goes out, and what the water temps are. I would bet most of the action will be in spawning areas, but you never know at this time of year.
jdsplasher: Doug; Did you get lots of snow this winter? What do you anticipate for water levels when ice go’s out?
dougj: Yes, there’s quite a bit of snow, water levels will probably be pretty high.
Chad Cain: Accommodations are great. Most of the guides stay in one cabin, and several vets to all the other cabins. Frank and Laura Walsh do an amazing job of hosting this!
dougj: Current lake levels are in the 45%tile.
dougj: Food is good also!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Chad Cain: Hopefully my motor wont act up this year and I won’t miss out on the ribeye dinner
lambeau: the vets get unlimited access to food, drinks, etc. during the week. we make sure they never need to pull their wallet out the whole time.
leech: sounds like maybe in the future there will be more vets and guides
leech: seems to be a pretty well known event
Top H2o: Chad and Doug, is this kind of a break for you guys? and what does this mean to you personally.
dougj: We pick up all most every thing. Rods, reel, lure, line, licenses, RABCs, some travel money, plus guides, food and lodging.
Chad Cain: Yes and no. Obviously it is a little stressful because you want nothing more than these awesome soldiers to catch a bunch of muskies. When they do, it is really special!!
leech: alot of big northerns caught as well?
Top H2o: Thats cool!
dougj: It’s a real privlege to meet these guys. I’ts probably as big an honor to guide as to be selected as far as I’m conserned.
Steve Worrall Do the Vets end up with a fishing item or two to call their own and take home?
dougj: Oh ya! We had a nice doube on N pike the first tear 38″ and 42″.
dougj: Yes, they get to keep all the gear.
Chad Cain: Each vet gets a rod and reel of their own, and a goodie bag full of lures from donations. They really appreciate it. The rods have a operation muskie logo on it.
lambeau: Operation Muskie has purchased Shimano reels and Tackle Industries camo rods for each vet this year. they’ll also get a double-armful of donated lures and gear…great stuff!
tylersbasementcreations: can you still donate lures?
Top H2o: How far from the resort do you guys run to find muskies? whats the farthest you go to fish?
lambeau: absolutely tyler…drop me an email: [email protected]
tylersbasementcreations: will do mike……i will stop a see you also at new london…i will have a booth
dougj: Some time a long way, some times not so far. We’ve had lunch near Wiley Pt one year.
Chad Cain: Depends. You have to be really sneaky when trying to follow Dick Pearson.
dougj: There’s muskies with in a 1/4 mile of Bay Store, and lots more father away.
leech: is dick pearson a guide as well
trophy hi-fin: Just out of curiousity, how many of the other guides do know of are former vets themselves, or what branch of the service they derived………. Mainia, Pearson, Gillispie, Walsh, Murphy, ?????????
dougj: He did the first year, but has since retired to give other folks a chance.
dougj: I’m a Marine!!!!!!!!!
leech: what year is this going on?
Chad Cain: year four
dougj: OM # IV
lambeau: this is the 4th annual trip, will be June 27-July 1st this summer.
dougj: Pearson is also a Marine!
trophy hi-fin: Ya that would seem about right! (Pearson being a jughead!)
Steve Worrall I understand Norm Wild offers no end of entertainment…hooking other critters.
trophy hi-fin: Was’nt Mania over in Germany in the Army?
dougj: Every a muskie at times.
Chad Cain: I don’t think Maina was in the army.
Steve Worrall Anything else to add gents?
lambeau: Norm fills the camp with laughter, that’s for sure.
Chad Cain: Norm is nuts
Steve Worrall I imagine so. make him cook the taters this year.
Top H2o: What kind of “Pranks” get pulled on this trip?
dougj: Just many thinks to all how have contributed in the past. many thanks to MF!
lambeau: check out the website, www.OperationMuskie.com and you can also follow OM on Facebook by “liking” it so you’ll get updates and news. the auction is just starting and will run through Apr 10, with the “live” auction April 12th.
Chad Cain: only prank I know of is the dildo lure that kept getting passed around to different boats last year.
Steve Worrall hahahahahha
ranjo: Hi Doug really looking forward to helping out this year,quite an honor for Shannon and I to join in
Chad Cain: I fished with it and had a follow. Tried so hard to catch one on it. Looked good in the water.
Steve Worrall OK, gents, let’s wrap this up for the night with a reminder of how one can donate, buy an auction item, or attend the live auction…
dougj: Glad to have you guys!
Chad Cain: To another awesome Operation Muskie!!!!!
lambeau: link to the auction is on the OperationMuskie.com website. people can contact me if they’d like to add some donations: [email protected] OM appreciates the help!
Top H2o: Thanks for your service guys
dougj: Thanks to all!
Jimmy B: Nice job guys see you all in June.
Chad Cain: Everyone needs to do something for these vets. True American Heroes!!
H: Last years auction was great and looking forward to this one. Thanks to all the donors and of course the Veterans.
lambeau: wash down that vodka with some vodka?
Steve Worrall Thanks go out to all the Operation Muskie volunteers, nice work guys.
Jimmy B: I’ll take care of you Mike.