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Tue, Aug 23, 2022 at 10:50AM

Captain Lance Valentine and Joe Riha

Angler Qwest helps get 104-year-old angler out on the water

Stability, and easy-boarding helped


If it were a little under 100 years ago, you might find Joe Riha fishing the bank of a Michigan river for his favorite species: perch.  It was, and still is, his favorite fish to pursue, but at 104 years old, he doesn’t get after them much as his just isn’t as mobile.

            “We used to be darn near elbow to elbow on the river and you didn’t dare leave your spot or you’d lose it,” he said.  “It still is my favorite but there aren’t many guides that fish for them around here with a boat I can still get in to.”

            Riha’s son-in-law Glenn, and his wife Teresa, both 66, had made it a point to get him out on the water but they struggled to find a guide that had a boat that was easy enough for him to board- for any species.

            “We finally found Captain Lance Valentine,” Glenn said.  “His Angler Qwest made it possible for Joe to get on board and be comfortable. The boats are really stable and we need that for him. We go out a couple times a year and he and Lance have a great time barking at each other.”

            Valentine loves taking Riah out for several reasons.

“Charter fishing is all about creating an "experience"- a day to remember, regardless of how full the livewell is at the end of the trip,” Valentine said. “ I get all kinds of neat people on the boat, and Joe is one of those that definitely sticks out.  Being 104 is an amazing accomplishment itself, but Joe is still full of life, fun on the boat and definitely hasn't lost his ability to throw a little ribbing at the captain when fishing is slow.”  

            Riah likes that he can sit on the back bench and see all the action and have an easy path to reel in a fish, often times with an assist from Glenn and Teresa.

            “We caught 19 the last time we were out,” Riha said.  “Lance works hard.  He always stays out longer than is really needed to get you on fish.”

            Captain Valentine said that when Riah is on his Angler Qwest, it’s always a good time.

  “We have lots of time back there, just the two of us, and he's pretty good company to have little chats with,” he said. “ He's still excited to catch a fish and he handles most of the close rods and does a great job of getting fish to the boat.  He makes sure I know when the fishing is slow or when the fish are running a little on the small side.”  

Glenn and Teresa love the banter between the two and concurred that the experience on the Angler Qwest is complimented with their Captain’s personality.  Valentine has had thousands of people out over the years, but there are surely trips and groups of people he looks forward to each season.

“My best memories as a captain are not of fish, but of people, and Joe is definitely right at the top of my list of favorites,” he said. “ I look forward to every trip with him and his "crew" and am thankful they found me to be the one to take Joe fishing.”

Joe Riha and family
Joe Riha and family

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