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Joan Ferdon's luck

Joan Ferdon of Duluth remembers her first fishing trip, to a friend's cabin on a lake in the Brule area. She and her husband, Jerry, were newly married. Jerry and the couple's friends were experienced anglers. Joan Ferdon had come from a nonfishi...

Joan Ferdon of Duluth remembers her first fishing trip, to a friend's cabin on a lake in the Brule area. She and her husband, Jerry, were newly married. Jerry and the couple's friends were experienced anglers. Joan Ferdon had come from a nonfishing family. The real anglers outfitted Ferdon with a bamboo pole "about 15 feet long" with some line, a sinker and a hook. They assigned Ferdon a rock to fish from, baited her hook and moved away to do some serious fishing.

"I felt lonely there," Ferdon said. "They were casting and reeling in. It looked like a lot more fun than I was having."

After a long time, Ferdon felt a nibble. She yanked the rod tip up.

"The whole works -- bobber, pole, fish all -- [flew] over my head," she said. "That poor fish didn't know what happened to him, flying through the air and landing in the bushes."

Ferdon's husband and friends had to go looking for the fish, and they found it -- a large brook trout.

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"I was so happy," Ferdon said. "The rest of them with their fancy rods and reels were only getting suckers."

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