I was four when I dropped a hook and worm into Big Gull Lake off the end of a dock at my aunt and uncle’s camp.
Soon, a smallmouth bass inhaled the bait and bent the fishing rod. A moment later I was holding the fish up with a big smile on my face. I didn’t realize it then, but the real catch of that day was me.
I was instantly enthralled with fishing and it is also the exact moment my love for everything outdoors began.
I like to think a lot of people fell in love with the outdoors the same way I did — hook, line and sinker — and stayed in love.
I’m not an expert outdoorsman and I don’t claim to be. What I am is a person who can’t get enough of the wilderness to fish, hunt, canoe, camp, explore and enjoy nature.
I am working with Northern Life to share my passion with all the readers who love everything outdoors.
I will be writing articles and columns from the local outdoors scene in the hopes to inspire more people to enjoy and appreciate the opportunities waiting moments from our doorsteps in Greater Sudbury.
In this first column, I will more or less set the table and give a bit of background on who I am and why I love the outdoors year-round, while also setting up the theme of future stories.
Greater Sudbury is a wonderful region full of lakes, hills, forests, wildlife and rugged splendour. I feel we live in the most exotic and beautiful part of the world. I have felt this way since I was a child.
My love for the outdoors got its roots from my mom, Margaret. She was big into fishing and introduced me to the sport. It runs in the family as my mom got it from her father, Herbert. My grandfather was one of those guys who would crawl on his belly for a 100-metres through thick bush to streams to fish brook trout.
I grew up in Hanmer and St. Charles. I was always surrounded by the bush. I could go for days hiking or ATVing without seeing another person.
I found I always felt better, physically and especially mentally, after spending a couple of hours in the forest or on a lake paddling. It’s hard to explain, but I am sure many of you know what feeling I am talking about it. I like to strike a balance of spending as much time outdoors as I do in the city/indoors. In my heart, I would rather be in the outdoors all the time.
I have a young family. My children are 10 and seven. They enjoy being in the wilderness as much as I do. This makes me happy. My wife enjoys the outdoors as much as I do. This makes me jump over the moon.
As time goes on, I will share my stories of adventure from around Northern Ontario. I will write about everything from gear reviews to places to explore to camping with the family to issues concerning us all.
I hope readers will respond well to this and comment about their outdoors activities. I go out on solo adventures, as well as family excursions, and then there are the experiences with my fishing and hunting buddies. It is never dull.
The outdoors have challenged me in ways I never thought possible. It is never the same and will leave you as a better person each time out.
So, let’s get started.
Scott Haddow is an avid outdoorsman, freelance writer and photographer in Greater Sudbury.