written by Mike Durkalec, Cleveland Metroparks
I have so many memories following a decade and a half of fishing with Kodiak, that I wanted to get down a few in writing so they aren’t forgotten, and hope a few of them will make folks smile.
I got Kodiak as a 6-week-old English chocolate lab puppy back in May 1997. His official AKC registered name was “Steelhead Kodiak”, since I had big plans to make him a fishing dog. A few weeks after we got him we took him on a camping trip to Findlay State Park. I was so excited to take him fishing for the first time. When I caught a little sunfish, though, he was actually afraid of it! I was horrified. Was my future fishing buddy actually scared of fish? Fortunately, a few sunfish later and after some gentle encouragement, he approached and barked at them and even licked a few. Whew!
I remember taking him along everyday that same summer when I was an ODNR creel clerk. All the fishermen loved the little ball of fur with the oversize paws. I remember coaxing him to jump into the water off some rocks only a short distance to the water by throwing a small twig about two feet from shore. He whined and pawed towards it from the rock, and I was so proud when he finally made the plunge and jumped in after it. My brave little guy!
Our friend, Mike Durkalec took a fishing trip up to Canada last week and returned with incredible photos, including shots of an absolutely massive Steelhead.