A Fishing Dream Come True

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

32 Responses

  1. Hey Nik if I could spend a day fishing with Ang(gramps) and Pete I would have to say the French River. Have met both of them over the years and their advice has helped especially on Bay of Quinte. Tight lines Nic

    1. Your comment has greatly disappointing me in that you think this is the FRENCH RIVER??? I am bewildered that you took time out of your day to write such a heinous comment. Boomer. Stupid boomer. Tonto, more like Toronto. Gottem stupid boomer. Dumb boomer. I bet you put your fish tackle on before you put the line on your rod. Stupid boomer. Please delete your account. You have hurt my feelings by even thinking about speaking about this topic.

  2. Yes Nik, success definitely comes with experience and patience. As I would put it “A man’s intelligence is not measured by the amount of knowledge he has acquired. It is measured by how wisely he has applied that knowledge.”

    Fishing, like every other life experience, has it’s ups and downs. Be patient and persevere; even the darkest night eventually gives way to the light of day. I have found on many occasions that tactics in any field of endeavor especially fishing, is knowing what to do when there is something to do; strategy is knowing what to do when there is nothing to do.

    Spending time in the outdoors with my wife has undoubtedly increased our knowledge, not just by wetting a line, but allowing us to gain insight into how life on this planet co-exists. Observing and documenting the habits of nature, whether it be fish, birds or other wild animals, it gives us a great cross section of how they behave. Then through our own experiences, we ourselves are able to determine “how wisely we have applied that knowledge”.

    As for spending a day fishing with Angelo Viola and Pete Bowman, that would definitely be my dream come true. Anywhere, anytime.

    In the meantime Nik, let me leave you with this little bit of knowledge. “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift….that is why it is called the present.”

    1. Calvin, you sound like a very wise guy. I want to thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my very first blog post! It’s really nice to hear from you and I appreciate all the insight and advice you have given me.

      Thanks again Calvin hope to hear from you again!

  3. Great blog Nik! Its nice to know that the future of Fish’n Canada is in good hands! If I could spend a day fishing with Ang and Pete i would definitely go on the french river and fish musky. Keep up the good work Nik!

    1. As you have probably seen, I love the French too. The muskie might take a little persuading but they always show up at the end! Thanks for the kind words, they are much appreciated.

    2. I am unable to fathom how much of an imbecile you must be to believe this is the French. I am absolutely BAFFLED at your absolute lack of knowledge of Canadian rivers. Maybe if you paid attention to the article you would know this is the SPANISH river, not the French. Boomers like you never pay attention. Zoomer, out.

      1. Fathom: understand (a difficult problem or an enigmatic person) after much thought, much like me after reading your comment

        Baffled: totally bewildered or perplexed, much like me after reading your comment

        Spanish: could be the language you are writing your nonsensical comment in.

  4. You are lucky fishing with gramps, I remember fishing with mine. Good memories. If I were to fish with your gramps, I would like to stay close to home. Little Lake in Peterborough. They’re familiar with it, they’ve fished it for carp. Pete even made a carp episode just down the street from me, at the boat ramp on Monaghan rd and Crawford Dr. I live up Monaghan at Cameron st. I didn’t know till I saw it on TV. I’d like to introduce them to the musky fishing in that small pond. It holds some good ones. That’s my dream, that or I would be an astronaut. ? Go big or go home right?

  5. Nik, I know you wrote this awhile ago, but it was great to read the enthusiasm in the article. I wish I could have gone fishing with my grandpa but he was not into that sport. I did however spend a ton of time on the water with my dad and that made up for it. I want to say thanks to you, Ang, Pete and all the folks at Fish’N’Canada for putting all this online for those of us who could not get the show. Even at 65 I have learned a lot in the past year and enjoyed a lot of great content. It is very obvious you all enjoy what you are doing and I hope one day if it is meant to be to be able to drop a line with one of you or all of you to enjoy a time fishing. Also ignore the nay sayers out there they will always be there and will always try to dampen enthusiasm because they lack it themselves.

  6. If I could spend a day fishing with Fishing Hall of Famers Ang (aka Gramps) and Pete, I would probably go into a shock induced blackout from the moment I learned I was going until I caught my first fish of the trip with them. It would be more amazing than winning BIG with Loto 649

  7. Nik, You’re starting to sound like your Grampa. GREAT writing skills, Excellent communications of your ideas. Off to a fine start, you are. This old boy is looking forward to MANY more writings of your escapades with/without Grampa.
    Be well, stay safe.

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