Dear Mr Labignan. Ive recently come across a magazine article you wrote way back in 1993 about my grandfather Russel lucky Harris. I was wondering if you have any interesting stories you could tell me about him. Thank you Dennis

Posted on April 13th, 2009

Hi Dennis….I’m glad you read the article. It was a tribute to your grandfather who I admired and got to know him as a wonderful man. We initially noticed each other one trout opener back in the mid-70’s. He caught my attention because he was catching so many migratory rainbows. We both fished almost every day after the trout season would open each spring and in many cases we would be fishing the same stretches of stream. Each year after that, his pickup truck & camper was a common site on the Ganaraska River and on many other Lake Ontario tributaries. Slowly we got to know each other a little better and before or after fishing I would invite him to our house near the Wilmot Creek in Newcastle, ON. I was married and had a young family than. I have fond memories of Lucky coming to our house for breakfast before fishing and we would enjoy fresh caught trout, eggs and freshly picked fiddle heads. I don’t think Lucky had to many opportunities to be in a family setting with young children, but he was excellent with all of us. I remember on one occasion he knew it was one of our children’s birthday and when he came for breakfast that day he brought a gift. It was something simple, but we all knew he was really expressing his love and appreciation through it. As I started by carrier with Canadian Sportfishing, by the mid late 80’s I had moved from Newcastle, ON to the west-side of Toronto. I fished less for trout in the Lake Ontario tributaries and did most of my steelhead fishing on Canada’s west coast, so I did not see Lucky much. I saw him a couple of times at the Toronto Sportsman Show where he regularly gave his time to help at sportsman clubs. Than I heard that he was ill and I felt I should contact him and invite him fishing. I did and when I called him on the phone he was very excited to fish. I did not realize until I picked him up that he was not well at all. He met me at the entrance of his apartment building with a walker. I helped him and we managed to fish out of the bass boat that I was using at the time in the Kawartha Lakes. Lucky had not been in a bass boat before and he was amazed at the speed and comfort of fishing out of one. We fished plastic worms for largemouth bass and I think it was his first time experiencing that since he was really a trout fisherman at heart. Unfortunately Lucky was so weak that he lost some of the largest bass he hooked but did manage to land one about 4 lb. When the day was over and I dropped him off, he was in tears. He knew and I knew that it was his last fishing trip. He passed away shortly after. After he passed away I was inspired to write the article on his life and the kind man that he was. I still have vivid memories of the times we shared together. I hope you had a chance to get to know him while he was still alive, and if you didn’t, I hope that you will know what he was like and the exciting life he lived in his younger years traveling throughout North America…..God bless you, Italo

Like me   Follow Me  
Subscribe youtube   Newsletter Subscriber   InstagramFollow in instagram