Jeff Green | Aug 03, 2006
Feature Article - August 3, 2006
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Memories of a fisherman
"I'll tell you, we’ve had some fun," Bob Breech chuckled as he reminisced. Bob has been traveling to the Land o’ Lakes Lodge on Crotch Lake for the past 60 years. He’s 91 years old and continues to make the trip from Catawissa , Pennsylvania .
In 1946 Bob made his first trip up with his wife and young kids. Two friends of his owned the Lodge, but they had trouble maintaining it and sold it not long after. New management was no deterrent Bob and his family have come up every year since that first visit.
Over the years things have changed. “This place has changed like night and day,” says Bob. “Everything has changed!” In the 1940s there were fewer people visiting the Lodge. Electricity was not part of the package back then until the 1960s gas lights were used, and they had to carry water. The Lodge used to be much smaller over the years it has built cabins and has added onto the main building.
Fishing was different back then, too. There were no motors for the boats. “I used to row half way across the lake to fish,” said Bob.
Bob went on to describe the horrendous roads that used to be navigated to reach their final destination. "The beavers would build dams and flood the road. One time I came driving my car through the water, and the water came in up over the floor boards!”
"It took about an hour to come in here from Sharbot Lake ," put in his son Jack, who has been traveling to Central Frontenac for almost the same number of years as his dad.
When asked if he had any good fishing stories, everyone in the room laughed. “I should write a book,” said Bob fondly as he relived the many memories he has made over the years. He went on to share some of his funniest, such as the time when the “Catawissa Gang” decided to go camping down on the lake. They set up camp, went out fishing, and came back in to find that a herd of cows had eaten all their cooking supplies. “There wasn’t even any salt left!” Bob laughed.
Another time while camping in the rain, they set a heater up in their tent. A short time after they spotted smoke pouring from the tent, and while they were in time to save their camcorder, the rest burned to the ground.
Or, the time one of his sons left a loaf of bread in their tent. In the middle of the night a racoon came nosing around. “That coon came in and ripped the whole side of the tent open,” said Bob.
Bob’s wife has traveled up with him several times, but generally she likes to stay at home. This year, on September 17, will be the Breeches’ 60th wedding anniversary.
Bob is still pretty spry for someone in his nineties. He was still camping at 85 years old, and he cuts his own lawn back at home. “Fishing is good for you,” he said, listing off the names of friends who had been fishing at Land o’ Lakes Lodge for nearly as long as he has been. One of the men in his circle of fishing friends lived to be 102, and others well into their nineties.
It seems that most regular visitors to the Land o’ Lakes Lodge know Bob Breech. “There are a lot of people that come up here, and if it weren't for Bob they wouldn't be coming up,” said his son Jack. “It's like a tree with lots of branches. He's at the root.”
Though fishing was Bob’s introduction to the Lodge and still the main reason he makes the trip each year, his friendships, and the time he has spent with the people who love him, are special memories to him and his friends and family. Bob said it best: “I’ll tell you, we had some good times.”Other Stories this Week View RSS feed