He stands stream side. You guess him at about 65-68
years old. He is a large man. Back in the day
he stood close to 6'04" and about 250 pounds. Now
all you see is the beautifully colored brook trout he
is unhooking from his line. He loves to trout fish. He is a
firm believer in catch and release. Bob is a worm angler.
Bob says that brook trout are one of the most beautiful
creatures God put on this earth. Bob is not a "big" trout guy.
He likes to catch lots of trout and all sizes.
Bob was bitten by the trout bug back in the 50s. He said
when he first moved to northern Wisconsin. . .he was made
an honorary member of a local tribe near Green Bay. The
Native Americans he fished with showed him how to fish
with worms.They stressed getting on the first bite and try
an upper lip hook-up.
Bob turns 74 this year. His has a slight limp. His right knee
and hip bother him.
The first thing you see when you see Bob Skoronski close up
is his big smile. Shortly there after. . . his arm is extended in a
firm handshake. You can't miss the handshake. All of the fingers
on each hand have been broken at least once. Some of his fingers
even point both directions.
Bob said ALL lineman had fingers like those from his era.
He said the defensive lineman stuck their fingers in the
offensive linemen's face masks.
He said the only way to survive in the trenches was to show
NO FEAR and retaliate against dirty play. Bob said: " All
layers played hurt in those days." There was nothing that a
good whirlpool couldn't cure.
He introduces himself usually quite modestly. He makes no
mention of being the ANCHOR of the left side of the Green
Bay Packers offensive line for 11 years. Left tackle is known
today as the most important position on the offensive line. It
covers the quarterback's blind side. Bob had
a brief time away from football to serve his country.
Bob played for the Packers from 1956 to 1968. Bob played
his college football at Indiana. During his years at Green Bay,
the team won 5 NFL championships and *2* Super Bowls (Super
Bowl I and II). Bob was one of the team offensive captains for
many of those games. It is very interesting to trout fish with him.
His interests vary immensely. The topics during trout fishing go from
"The Huddle" before the famous quarterback sneak in the "Ice Bowl"
to admiring the colors on a tiny brook trout. Ever so often some talk
of fly ins to Canada after Massive North Pike sprout up in the
conversation. Later in the year his mind wanders to Duck Hunting.
You know trout season is almost over when he starts talking about
Florida. Bob spends the winter months in Florida chasing anything
that swims on the flats down there.
Every spring Bob and I talk football. I ask him how he thinks the
Packers drafted. He always is upbeat and the "fire" stills burns for football.
You can still see the passion in his eyes when he speaks of the Packers.
His favorite 2 all-time quarterbacks are no surprise. They were
Bart Starr and Bret Farve. His favorite Packer lineman of all-time
he said "That one is a NO BRAINER." Gale Gillingham. I asked Bob
about the comparison in salaries from today and the "Glory Days."
He said the best players back then didn't even make a tenth of what
the best players make now.
I have known Bob for about 10 years now. I fish with him about
once a week in the summer. Ever so often his sons come along also. His
son's are still proud of their father and they also talk about the "Glory
Days" with a twinkle in their eyes. Bob instilled his work ethics in
all of of his children. They are ALL very successful.
I visited Bob's home a couple years back. The downstairs is like
a miniature Packer Hall Of Fame. ALL of his old jerseys are there.
The Sports Illustrated from the 1968 Super Bowl is there.
Bob is on the cover. The team captains were shaking hands at mid-field.
Bob came up to me and said try these on. He handed me his Super Bowl
I & II rings. It was quite a treat. He told me. "Len, my football Glory Days
are behind me but I still love to reminisce." In his next breath he asked me,
"When are we going fishing next?" ~ Len Harris