The Intercollegiate Literary Magazine

Sioux Lookout

Matching tan cargo pants and button-up shirt, 

I try to channel the intelligence and insight 

Of my two idols, Steve Irwin and Bear Grylls 

As my grandpa’s 2005 Chevrolet Astro van, 

packed like a warehouse with 

fishing poles, sunflower seeds, and family, 

burns rubber 810 miles north on I-90 to 

Ontario, Canada.

The home of my earliest ancestors

where they lived off the land for survival, not for vacation.

Their familiarity and comfort in these woods and lakes

genetically passed through their offspring and into myself

as I explore this new place like it is the backyard

of my childhood home. This feels like home.

The Sun’s rays reflect off of the vast lake into our eyes as 

we navigate our way through a corn maze 

of infinite narrow waterways and bays, 

surrounded by stalks of supersized spruce trees 

that reach up and touch the wispy, white clouds from above.

The dingy paper map guides us to my grandfather’s favorite spots 

he discovered when he was my age.  

Northern pike, walleye, bass. No matter the size or shape,

they each can provide us fishermen and fisherboys  

with the joy of negotiating and closing a business deal.

The indirect handshake between the fish’s mouth and 

your palm as the line connects the two of you

recognizes and confirms your contract.

Nothing comes close to the rush of adrenaline

—heart pumping, eyes widening, grin growing—

you feel when you reel one in, after waiting 

minute after minute …  hour after hour … 

especially when it is your very first time, very first one.