Lake Oahe Trip, July 2011

It has been three years since I have been to Lake Oahe, South Dakota. This is an annual fishing trip that I started going on with a few of my Nebraska buddies; the first year I made the trip to Lake Oahe was in 1995. I went year after year and then took a 3 year break after the 2007 fishing trip. The early years, it was a trio that consisted of John Dorsey, AJ Hudjins and myself. AJ and John live in Cozad, Nebraska (my hometown) and the last few times Scott Diehl has been joining us, he lives in Brady, Nebraska about 30 miles from Cozad. This year, AJ didn’t make the trip due to his moving from Cozad to Hartwell, Georgia to start a new job.

My wife Linna had the pleasure of waking up at 4:30 a.m. to give me a ride to the airport. I flew from Seattle to Minneapolis and then back to Pierre, South Dakota. The flight from Minneapolis to Pierre was on a small turbo-prop plane….which was loud and slow. John and Scott were waiting for me at the Pierre airport with a cold beer. John picked up Scott in Brady about the same time my flight took off from Seattle. John and Scott pretty much just had to drive due North, a 5 hour drive to Pierre. As usual we headed to Dakota Mart to pick-up a few items, a store that carries guns, fishing equipment, liquor, clothing and groceries. We stayed at the West Prairie Resort, a place we have been doing business with for the last 4 fishing trips. The owners Terry and Tammy Nelson are some of the nicest people you will ever meet; Terry is considered to be the best guide on Lake Oahe by his peers and customers.

Each morning consisted of breakfast at the lodge and out on the lake by 9:00 a.m. We usually had our limit by early afternoon, which was a good time to get off the lake. Fishing in mid-summer on Lake Oahe, temperatures can reach over 100 degrees, which must have reached each day for us! When we got back to our air conditioned cabin, it felt like you walked out of an oven into a refrigerator. Seattle hadn’t had a full day over 80 degrees yet and my body was acclimated for the low 70’s. After each day of fishing, Terry would clean, pack and put our fish in our cabin freezer. He treats you like a king on the boat and makes sure you are having a great time. He will even bait your hook and take your fish off….as he did for Scott all three days; of course John and I were making fun of it! This resort goes beyond the usual customer service, since my flight was in the late afternoon and my Nebraska buddies wanted to take off in the morning, Terry gave me a car to drive to the airport. So I stuck around the resort and used the wireless until I needed to catch my flight.