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Thread: Confirmation of fishing story

  1. #1
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    Confirmation of fishing story

    Prior to his passing, my father gave me a fishing rod and reel along with the following information. Can anyone confirm that these events happened. "This Pflueger Supreme Reel No. 1573, original suede bag, and accompanying rod, was originally purchased in the 1940’s by Bill Waggoner who was a Game Warden with the Wisconsin Conservation Department. Shortly after World War II, General Dwight D. Eisenhower went on a fishing trip to Big Pine Lake in Northern Wisconsin with his three brothers, and ten other Generals. The trip was arranged by Ernest Swift, who was Director of the Wisconsin Conservation Department at that time. They stayed at Boulder Lodge at Boulder Junction in Vilas County and all involved caught a legal Musky. Conservation personnel in the Northeast area provided fishing equipment, boots, and guide service with a Conservation staff person in each boat. Bill Waggoner loaned this reel and rod to General Eisenhower for the trip. One of the Generals, General Walker, caught a 34 ½ lb. Musky and General Eisenhower a 30 ½ lb fish. Two weeks after the General’s fishing party ended, Staber Reese who was the state photographer, arranged a similar fishing party for Gypsy Rose Lee, famous Fan Dancer. Gypsy Rose Lee also used this reel and rod, thanks to Bill Waggoner, and she also caught a legal musky in Big Pine Lake. Bill Waggoner later sold this reel and rod to Clarence A. Wistrom in 1954, who was the field foreman at the Spooner, WI fish hatchery, and he, in turn, gave it to his son, Alan, on January 20, 2002. Some of the above information was provided to Clarence Wistrom by Art Oehmcke on January 21, 2002. Art was stationed at the Woodruff fish hatchery when the fishing trips occurred.

  2. #2
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    RE: Confirmation of fishing story

    If Art is still alive he forgot more about Musky fishing then we will ever know.

  3. #3
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    RE: Confirmation of fishing story

    I think I heard that Art passed on, RE: the story, may as well go with it, nobody around to prove or dis-prove it.
    The pedigree on the rod and reel is tough, but I would tend to believe the stories, minus a little exageration.
    T.

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    Confirmation of fishing story

    I suspect "catchmuskellunge" will challenge the weights of those fish mentioned.

    John

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    RE: Confirmation of fishing story

    >I suspect "catchmuskellunge" will challenge the
    >weights of those fish mentioned.
    >
    >John

    c'mon John.

    He's a great guy. It's the rest of us that are screwed up.

  6. #6
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    RE: Confirmation of fishing story

    I would think that if Eisenhower and 10 other generals were in Vilas County all at one time fishing there would be record of it somewhere. You might want to go to the library and try to track down newspapers from that time period.

  7. #7
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    RE: Confirmation of fishing story

    The Gypsy Rose Lee story is probably true, she definitely fished in the area and caught a musky, and I have read that story or have it on video tape from the old musky guides. BTW she was a stripper, not a fan dancer as far as I know. Sally Rand was the famous fan dancer I believe.

    I do not remember the Ike and 10 generals thing, but it would seem that would be more notable, and somewhat of a security risk. Neat item of fishing history if you can verify the stories. Dig around a little would be my advice.

    Found this pic on line, and I believe she fished more than one time if I remember correctly.

    http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/whi/...sort_by%3Ddate

    Eisenhower is referenced in this article as fishing musky in the 50's, so I am guessing if you dig deeper you can find more info.

    http://www.jsonline.com/sports/outdoors/65860342.html


    Here is a little more confirmation, and lends creedence to Ike and his brothers being up there on a fishing trip,

    "
    Another one of the nation’s most famous citizens, Dwight
    D. Eisenhower, U.S. president from 1953–1960, was a frequent
    visitor to Wisconsin’s northwoods and the Minocqua
    Country Club before and after his presidency, according to
    the book Northwoods Nostalgia by Joyce Laabs. Just one year
    after World War II ended, General Eisenhower and his four
    brothers vacationed at Moody’s Resort on Big Lake. It was
    the first of several trips to the Minocqua area, including 1948,
    1965, and 1967, the latter two years before he died.
    While up north, Eisenhower fished for bass and musky,
    enjoyed skeet shooting with his friend Howard Young of New
    York—one of the founding members of the club—and played"

    and this was found on line in the article "history of Wisconsin Golf"

    http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/wmh/...5_Foreward.pdf

    summer 2005 page 8


  8. #8
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    RE: Confirmation of fishing story

    A good friend of mine is Bill W's nephew, I just chatted with him and he is going to ck on the story about them fishing with Bill. I'll get back when I find out.

  9. #9
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    RE: Confirmation of fishing story

    I would contact the Wisconson DNR where you'll find pertinent items like this (on page 8):
    http://dnr.wi.gov/fish/documents/Bad...kofJourney.pdf
    Other info would probably be found in the Eisenhower Archives, such as in file Boxes 16, 126, 198 noted in this URL: http://www.eisenhower.archives.gov/R...er_hobbies.pdf

    While you might be able to corraborate the events, details like a fishing rod and reel may be undocumented, and in fact, your father's information may be the only source. I would contact a curator or archivist at the WI DNR, the Eisenhower library and the WI Historical Society. They might even want to add your story to their holdings.

  10. #10
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    RE: Confirmation of fishing story

    This won't confirm the whole story, but I have a copy of Art Oehmcke's book, THE WOODRUFF HATCHERY STORY, and there are pictures of Eisenhower and his brothers with their muskies. There also is a picture of Art with Gypsey Rose Lee and her musky. There is a picture of TV host Ed Murrow also. Art doesn't talk about guiding these celebrities in the book, but the pictures are there.
    By the way, it is a very interesting book.


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