Today we should talk about fishing

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Today we should talk about fishing. It’s been a few years since I did any serious fishing, but with the new purchase of my new kayak, I have a renewed interest. Of course, the term “seroius fishing” leaves a bit to some personal ideas and opinions. So much has changes since my younger days when I could just ride a bike to a brook and fish without much care.

Today in this neck of the woods, we no longer know all of our neighbors. It’s no longer a friendly farmer yelling “hey Don, catching anything”, it’s an angry land owner who has the game warden on speed dial.

There is a brook a little less than a mile from the house I grew up in. This brook starts at a large swampy area. It is several acres teaming with an abundance of wildlife. It had the typical swampy smell as you hopped from the raised clumped of somewhat dry earth to the next.

Every few hundred yards or so a smaller stream fed into this brook, draining the nearby farmland of its excess groundwater. Each of these entry point created a small deeper pool and would usually hold a brook trout or two. Together a friend and I would fish down this brook, leap frogging the deepened pools in hope of finding such trout.

Leap frogging was a term I made up for how we fished the brook. I would fish one of the sparkling holes, throwing the bait from a distance as to not spook the trout. My partner would sneak around to the next hole. The brook trout were a bit spooky so care needed to be taken to not be seen or heard.

I never have determined how we learned this type of fishing. Most likely from reading books or magazines we’d pick up at the school library, or maybe talking to one of the locals ready to give such secrets to the younger generation.

One day as we were leap frogging down the brook, eventually winding up a little farther than we usually went, typically not wanting the long tiresome and what we thought as a boring walk home, we spied the next small sparkling pool ahead of us. As we sometimes did, I was ready to watch as my friend pulled a trout from the pool. At times, the watching was almost as much fun as the fishing, so I said “this is your hole, see what is in there”.

This hole, or pool was at a sharp turn in the stream that undercut the bank with a washed-out tree root system. It seemed small and a bit uninviting because of its size. With a bit of a chuckle, I heard “I’ll let you have this one” and he started to sneak around to the next spot.

Not wanting to just walk by, but wanting to keep up, I quickly flipped the worm, which was wrapped limply around the hook into the water, not being too concerned at its approach. Before I had even followed through with the flip; it can’t really be called a cast, because I just flipped the worm a bit ahead of the pool, hoping it would float by like an unfortunate worm fallen into the brook. At that moment the water surface exploded with excitement.

I gentle set the hook and began to land what would be my largest brook trout I had ever seen, and my buddy stood in aww, watching and wishing he could go back and fish his pool as it was dictated in the leap frog sequence.

But we were young and shared the pleasures of the days. Back then we ate what we caught for more reasons than just because we could. Things are obviously different today, although the discussion of whether it’s better or not better is a discussion that would likely never be decided and its best to just cherish the memories.

Happy Fishing!



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