Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The LONG Trip back to Glory-Days

A few days ago my son took me fishing for my birthday. He showed up at my house and forced me to go. Well, maybe forced is a little too strong of a word. Let's say he made me an offer I couldn't refuse. He was going to pay for my fishing liscence and include an all expence paid fishing trip; that ended up way down memory lane.
Our adventure started at Dead-Man's Hole on the Cass River, where I recounted fish not-caught there from years gone bye. I must have bored him as he soon took off down-river to a spot where he normally caught pike. He ended up catching a hammer-handle (i.e.-small, not legal sized pike) which he released to grow for later. He also found a nice patch of stinging nettle to his dismay, and a pop-up deer blind that must have blown in the river last fall and was half buried in the mud. It was in pretty good shape so he kept it.
Then we went to a bridge where he had caught pike a few weeks ago. When we got there it started raining heavily so we sat in his truck and talked until it eased up enough for us to scoot beneath the bridge. (read: help the old man keep from falling on his a_ _ .)
There I caught nothing but managed to beat the heck out of a perfectly good bobber until it finally succumed to repeated contact with the bridge pilings and broke in half. Eric landed a nice stick, some plant matter and almost brought up the bottom twice (i.e. snagged).
From there he took me to a pond I hadn't fished in YEARS. I could barely recognize the spot. What was once open fields was now trees and brush. Eric and my son-in-law Tim had been here a few weeks earlier and caught some bluegills, so I had been prewarned to bring my machete. And boy did we need it. Once we got on the main trail I started to recognize some landmarks and discerned where the pond was, but also realized getting there would be a challenge. I carried our fishing suppies while Eric cleared a path. Then he hacked out places to fish from; mine first.
My first good look of the dark, warm watered, jungle encrusted pond almost brought tears to my eyes as I recalled what it had looked like 38 years ago in my youth. It was an open airy place in the middle of a field with a little scrub brush an a few sapplings. Its crystal clear deep waters reflected the sun off wind raised ripples. Small bluegill and lake perch greeted you at the waters edge and huge wiley northern pike proweled its cattail lined south shore. Many a day my best friend (who introduced me to this haven) and I spent here catching fish 'till our hearts content. It's cold sping filled waters producing excellant eating fish even in the hottest weather.
This little known paradise was too soon ruined when the state aquired the land and killed off the pond just to see what was in it. After that it took many years to sprout a crop of bullheads and a few small bluegill probably introduced by the feathers of visiting waterfowl. No more pike. And I had given up on ever fishing there again.
Well time goes by, all things must change. And the pond is now a hotspot for 'gills. My first cast brought immediate action that continued until my arms were sore from catching fish. I quickly changed from worms to an equally old artificial fly that has been in my tackle box for about as long as I have been fishing. It worked like never before. I caught bluegills from 2-11 inches long with almost every cast. I left with 42 'gills and a promise to be back soon. And to bring my Granchildren with me. Time to switch from my glory-days to new adventures for them.

1 comment:

farm mom said...

Sounds like a lovely spot dad. Aden is all geared up to go fishing. She's really excited about it after seeing Uncle Eric's pike.