Written by: Len Harris
Photos by: Len Harris
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 players 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 Illustrate 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?".
*We are fishing in the morning*