There’s a saying in Tim Lambert’s house back home that “everything is an adventure.”
When he isn’t wrestling for Nebraska, he wants to be on the mat. When he isn’t fishing, he wants to be outdoors.
Tim has enjoyed fishing and wrestling equally ever since he was a kid.
In high school, he finished in the top-five at the Division 3 State Championships three times and won more than 200 matches.
When he wasn’t on the mat, he was next to a body of water. Fishing, of course.
Tim was raised in Forest Hills, Michigan. Around his hometown, he had plenty of options. Other than the Grand River, popular fishing destinations of Tim’s in the area were Reed’s Lake, the Muskegon River and the Thornapple River.
Every summer he would fish for bass, perch and blue gill at a lake close to where his mother, Diann, grew up. He would also fish for salmon, steelhead and trout during their fall runs at a river north of town. Forty minutes west of Forest Hills is Lake Michigan, where Tim and his family would often spend time in the summer big lake fishing.
The artistic sport of fly-fishing is what he misses most. When Tim was 7, his father, Brian, got him and his brother, Steve, involved in a fly-fishing club called The Brotherhood of the Jungle Cock/Michigan.
Over the years, Tim and Steve learned everything from the technique of casting to making their own rods and tying their own flies.
“That’s something I miss a lot,” Tim said. “I’ve been trying to do a lot more in Nebraska lately.”
The frequent winds in Nebraska make casting even more challenging for Tim.
Tim’s passion for fishing and the outdoors began at a young age when Brian and Diann would take Tim and Steve on fishing trips.
“Once I started enjoying it, we just went more often,” Tim said. “I think there’s just something special about spending quality time with family outdoors.”
Tim enjoyed the adventure from the countless trips he went on with his family.
“Any trip that I ever took with friends or my dad, especially with my dad, there was always something that went wrong and we would deal with it,” Tim said.
Brian and Tim both remember stories of their boat running out of gas, their vehicle getting stuck while launching the boat and their new Toyota truck quitting as they neared the interstate exit.
No story is more memorable then their return trip from Canada last summer.
One hour into the 10-hour drive. Tim and Brian made a stop in White River, Ontario to go to the restroom and get snacks and drinks. As they returned to their van to continue on the road, it wasn’t starting.
The van was loaded onto the back of a truck and hauled 58 minutes south to the town of Wawa, Ontario to be repaired.
Three nights later, a new fuel pump arrived, and the van was fixed.
“When you look at that, you don’t get upset or have a bad time,” Brian said. “You look at it and go ‘all right, this is an adventure. We’ll figure it out.’”
This past summer, Tim took a one-week trip to Hornpayne, Ontario to work at Expeditions North Nagagami Lake Lodge. The camp is only accessible by float plane and provides the opportunity for a fishing or hunting vacation.
Owners Kris and David Zuhl have always been family friends of the Lamberts and also share a love for wrestling.
Tim’s duties included showing guests where to fish, filling boats with gas each night and catching minnows for bait.
Despite his passion for fishing and the outdoors, Tim first majored in business administration when he arrived at UNL. He enjoyed the classes, but it wasn’t something he was extremely passionate about.
He then discovered the fisheries and wildlife program.
“It’s challenging and certainly a lot of new information,” Tim said. “But when you’re passionate it makes it easier to study, easier to put in the time.”
Brian and Diann knew Tim would gravitate toward something he liked.
“Tim is real strong with his faith,” Brian said. “Diann and I prayed that Tim would go where he’s most comfortable.”
Every day Tim learns something new in the classroom, which is very important to him and is one of the reasons he loves University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Tim is taking ichthyology, the scientific study of behavior, structure, physiology, classification and distribution of fishes. He will soon be taking a laboratory course to learn why some fish live in some areas and why others do not.
Tim has also taken forest ecology, wildlife ecology and management along with many water science classes.
“Learning about water quality issues, that’s something that’s going to be huge and conservation of that resource as time goes on,” Tim said. “The quality of the water is going to determine what kind of fish are there.”
Tim has also learned that the $28 he spends every year for a fishing license is necessary to fund research and management of the recreational areas.
Although he is learning in the classroom, his commitment to wrestling has kept him from internships and experience in the field. He is still undecided as to what he wants to do with his degree after he graduates.
“There’s a lot of different organizations around the U.S. that are not necessarily federal agencies, but have a passion to conserve the wildlife and resources,” Tim said. “I’m just kind of learning right now if any kind of research or graduate studies is something I would be interested in.”
This part of Tim’s life has been geared toward wrestling and commitment to his teammates, but he knows he can’t wrestle forever.
“I’ll be able to spend a lot of my professional life enjoying that passion that I have for resource management and enjoying the outdoors.”