It is of course the proverbial “fish story” that the fishing was so good they jump in the boat. Over the course of many years at Crystal we’ve had many such experiences though. The first I can recall was as a kid when a lawyer client of my Dad’s offered to sign an affidavit stating he’d been fishing on Paddle Lake when a rainbow trout jumped in his boat. I can’t remember if my Dad ever got the affidavit, but it did make an impression on me as a little boy. Oh the dreams such a story conjured!
I found my first fish in a boat at Holler dock. We go through there often, so the boat was regularly tied to the dock instead of beached and flipped over. It might have been a week since we had been there last, but to my surprise when I went to get into the boat, a fish was laying there all dried out in the bottom. How else did it get there if it didn’t jump in? That’s happened to me a couple times since, finding fish in the bottom of a boat that’s been tied up at a dock, but that first one always makes you think. One time at Johnson Lake, the boat had a bit of water in it from rain and the fish was still alive swimming in the bottom!
Norris Jackson claimed to have a fish jump in the boat while fishing on Grassy Lake. He had his sons and son-in-laws with him to verify his claim. They took pictures to prove no hook had fouled that fish’s mouth.
But better than that, I have literally seen a fish jump over the bow and into a man’s lap in a boat. It happened on Boomerang Lake, and we weren’t actually fishing, we were moose hunting. There were no fishing rods in the boat. We were trolling along the lake looking for moose, and I was looking forward directly over the bow when the 12” rainbow launched itself right into my hunter. Needless to say we were all startled, got a good laugh, took a picture for proof, and then promptly released it. And that’s an honest fish story and I’m willing to sign an affidavit to prove it!