There is no doubt that Coach Tom Osborne is one of the most revered and recognizable people in Nebraska, doctor, national champion football coach, athletic director, mentor, TeamMates founder, U.S. Congressman, and much more. He is one of our most well-known native sons.
He is also an outdoorsman, conservationist, and loves to fish! Omaha’s WOW TV is doing a series “Fishing with Coach Osborne”, and I am betting many of you will be interested in seeing it. Here is Part I, Fishing with Coach Osborne.
My buddy Greg Wagner and Channel 6’s Ross Jernstrom do the “interviews” in the series. Actually, the lucky dogs got to go fishing with Coach! Greg is a goof-off, but it appeared Coach knew how to handle that too. We will have to tune in to see how the subsequent parts go.
I am betting most Nebraskans have some kind of Tom Osborne story to tell. I have crossed paths with him a time or two on the water. When I have seen that familiar form standing in waders casting a fly-rod, I have gone my way, given him space and let him fish. But, there was this one time. . . .
On a rainy Memorial Day weekend, you know, one of those weekends when it was a steady, constant, cold, soaking rain. The kind that ruined the whole Memorial Day holiday. I went fishing anyway. What else was I going to do? I can’t dance.
I arrived at 0-dark thirty in a steady rain and fished. Caught one big white bass in the first half-hour of fishing and that was it. I fished for hours after that. Finally, soaked, discouraged, and hungry, I decided it was time to give it break. I hiked back up to the car and was putting gear away, peeling out of waders, when a van pulled up behind me. The driver rolled down his window and asked me if I had done any good? Instantly, I knew who was speaking to me before I even looked. I recognized the voice. . . . It was Coach Osborne. We chatted about the fishing, and the weather, for a minute, then he went on his way. My report was not good enough to convince him to wet a line at that moment.
If you want, I can tell you the exact day that was. The one white bass I caught & released was a really nice one, one of the largest, if not THE largest I have caught from Nebraska waters, big enough for a Master Angler Award.
I will never forget it.