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About fishing: Memories are made with the special people we call friends

Friends are those special people in our lives who leave a permanent mark. Dave Speral was one of those friends. Together we shared a love of the outdoors on many a hunting and fishing escapade. That is, if we weren’t fishing, getting ready to go fishing, tying jigs, rigging boats and scouring sporting goods stores for the latest and greatest in fishing tackle and equipment.

Park Rapids area lakes were part of our growing up. We felt the fishing was always better. Park Rapids area favorite stops included Fullers and Delaney’s tackle shops, the Aquarium, Rapid River Logging Camp and ending the day at the Y Steak House.

High school-aged teenagers, Speral and I learned most where to fish area lakes from guys like the late Tim Young, Kelley Cirks, Jerry Fuller and fishing guide Dick Winters.

Speral and I met Winters coming off Boulder one opening day with a beautiful mess of walleyes. Speral, not shy when it came to getting fishing information, walked over and asked what he used for bait. "These," Winters exclaimed, pulling up a Folgers coffee can containing a couple dozen leeches. Dick introduced us to using leeches, as he went on to tell us how to rig them and even shared his hot spot where he caught the walleyes. "Take these, I have more leeches at home and I am done fishing for the day anyway."

Speral and I returned later that day to enjoy catching a nice mess of Boulder Lake walleyes on Winter’s leeches.

Dave loved to eat. Big Dave, his friends fondly nicknamed him, loved breakfast. Rapid River Logging was one of our favorites. I recall one time when the waitress asked how many pancakes we wanted. Dave said with a smile, "Keep bringing them until we tell you to stop."

Speral didn’t like crowds, particularly where he was fishing. More than two people in the boat was always discouraged. One time on Eagle Lake we found an area that produced walleye after walleye. We couldn’t help but be spotted by one lone angler on the lake, who kept getting closer and closer until encroaching on Speral’s invisible 20 foot distance from the boat.

"Hey you’re fishing so close why don’t you just jump in our boat and fish with us," Dave snarled.

The lone angler replied, "You won’t mind? Thanks. Pick up me up at that dock over there."

Off the angler went. Dave turned to me, a scrowl on his face. "Oh well, better go get him."

Our new found angler companion, unknowing to us, invited his wife along too. Four in the boat, Dave grumbled a bit but made the best of it.

What I remember most about Dave was the time he spent with me after my father’s passing. I was junior in high school and on a number of afternoons and evenings Dave would make the trip from the north side of Fargo to our home on the south side to keep me company.

We remembered the time spent fishing and hunting, no better therapy in my mind to lose the loss of my father.

Dave Speral passed away recently, doing what he loved best - fishing. Upon learning of the Dave’s passing, I couldn’t help but smile at all the wonderful times and memories we made while Dave and I enjoyed our time on Park Rapids area lakes.