A Fishing Dream Come True

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Whenever I meet Fish’n Canada Show fans, the first question I’m asked is not “Why are your fish bigger than Grandpa’s?” It’s “What’s it like to be a part of Canada’s most popular fishing show?”

Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would have the opportunities that I do right this minute. It feels like something out of a book! I get to go around the country and fish… for a job? It’s crazy! Every shoot has something different about it; whether it’s the fish or the people, it always hits differently. For example, prior to my muskie episode with Pat Tryon at Chaudiere Lodge, I had no clue what it was like to fish for that species. Trust me, it was nothing like I had anticipated it to be. It really is the fish of ten-thousand casts because, in all reality, it takes about that to catch one! And believe me, as much fun as it is to catch these river monsters, it really wears you out every time.

But that experience taught me that hard work does pay off every time. Muskie fishing is difficult on its own. But with the added pressure of “Catch the fish or we won’t have a show”, it’s a whole new feeling of joy when you finally land one. Or two!

The best part of being able to go on these adventures is the memories that are made. Whether it’s with the other members of the Fish’n Canada crew or with my granddad or with the people I meet on location, there have been many moments that I will cherish forever. I’ll never forget the relief that Pat and I felt once we landed the very first muskie. Or my first Northern Ontario Walleye shoot on Esnagi Lake with Grandpa, when he made me pick up those slimy, slithery, bloodsuckers—I mean those wonderful leeches! Sorry, Gramps!

Lodge 88 on Esnagi Lake with good ol’ Grandpa—it just could not have been any better! Aside from the most incredible wilderness I’ve ever seen, I’d have to say it was definitely some of the best times I’ve ever had! I learned so much on that trip. Most of it was about coping with bad weather, catching cold-front Walleye, and dealing with cranky cameramen.

All in all, being a part of the Fish’n Canada Show and spending all that time outdoors with the team for the past couple of seasons has been the greatest experience of my life so far and I am very thankful for it. It’ll be something that I can look back on twenty years from now and remember how much fun I had, how much I’ve learned, and how much hard work goes into what my Grandfather and Pete have been doing for over thirty years.

The shoot at Northern Rockies Lodge on Long Mountain Lake in British Columbia with—you guessed it—Grandpa was one of my all-time personal favourites. I still show off those Lakers!

No matter what shoot it is, any day fishing with my Grandpa is always a memorable one. I feel as if the weight of the world is lifted up and off my shoulders.

Here’s a little gem from the past: My very first Fish’n Canada shoot. The lovely fifth-grade Niki from 2013 with pals Hunter and Cole Bowman. I’m not sure why, but Pete called us the “Three Stooges”! Making memories is what fishing is all about.

And remember, no matter what you’re fishing for or who you’re fishing with, it’s always a great reason to go outdoors and enjoy yourself. If you get the chance to make memories with people you love, seize the moment. One day you might not be able to anymore. So get out there guys, and have some fun on the water!

In the meantime, I want to know what you would do if you could spend a day fishing with Fishing Hall of Famers Ang (aka Gramps) and Pete. Leave a comment and tell me where you would go and what you would fish for. You never know, your fishing dream could come true—mine did!

Talk to you again soon,

Nikolaos Viola

Nik Viola

Youngest member of the Fish’n Canada crew, and grandson of Fish’n Canada co-founder, Angelo Viola. Nik has been totally immersed in the fishing culture since he first learned to walk and talk, and made his first appearance on the Fish’n Canada show at the ripe old age of nine. Fishing and the outdoors is in his DNA. His goal is to influence as many people as he can (especially kids) into experiencing life outside. He is fully committed to the notion that “any time spent in the outdoors is time well spent.”

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