3/10/2013

You Get a Line and I'll Get a Pole

Do you remember catching your first fish? I do. It was a beaut. A 14 inch rainbow trout snagged out of Wiscoy Creek at Mill's Mill. I don't know who was more astonished - my father or me. Fishing is a childhood rite of passage if you live in the country.  In Western New York there are plenty of rivers, lakes, creeks and ponds to choose from. Learning to fish is an art and teaches many valuable lessons. You learn to sit still, be quiet, and wait.  All  very difficult to learn if you're a kid. But you'll willingly embrace them for the glory of reeling in a thrashing trout, bass, or bluegill.

Fishing equipment is also a big draw. My Dad's tackle box was full of intriguing lures, hooks, sinkers, bobbers, and extra line.  Weird looking, brightly colored bits to put on your line might just entice the unsuspecting fish.  Before any fishing excursion, we'd wait until dark to go looking for fat night crawlers to toss in our little bait bucket. There would also be a trip to the Castile Gun Shop to buy salted minnows for bait too.  Dad would check our poles and we'd practice casting our lines before climbing into the car and heading off to fish.

My mother usually packed a picnic lunch and we'd sit on the bank trying to be quiet so the fish would be tempted to nibble on the wriggling worm firmly impaled on the hook.  Baiting the hook was also something you needed to learn. No squeamishness was allowed for girls. You had to do it. The salted minnows were easier because they were already dead.  My big catch was dumped into a big bucket of water and we hauled it home. The beautiful trout had a short reprieve and was allowed to swim in the bathtub for a little while before my Dad finally filleted it and added it to the day's catch in the cast iron frying pan.

My favorite fishing memory is an early morning adventure with my Dad and brother.  We were going to be treated to a very early morning fishing trip and we had to get up while it was still dark.  We tiptoed out of the house so as not to wake my mother and sisters. We could hardly wait to get to the new fishing spot where we were sure to catch a ton of fish. We were duly warned to be quiet and we followed Dad through the thick woods, trying to walk like Indians, stealthy in the darkness. Finally we came to the embankment above the creek.  Somehow in the scramble to get down the bank, Dad slipped (he was carrying all the fishing equipment) and tumbled out of sight in the pre-dawn darkness. My brother and I weren't sure how to react to this turn of events. I think we laughed and were a little scared at the same time.  There was some muttering and a little yelling, but Dad was injury free, except for his wounded pride. I don't remember much fishing that morning. It could be that the rather noisy entrance to the creek scared the trout away and it was decided to go home to have some breakfast. I'm sure my father will correct me if my memories are not quite right.

Although I haven't fished in many years, those childhood memories are cherished.  So as April approaches and fishing season opens in New York, you might want to dust off the fishing gear and get outside.  I can hear Andy and Barney sitting on the front porch singing..."You get a line and I'll get a pole, honey." The fish are waiting and there are new tales about the one that got away to tell.

Photo - Streamside Charters
East Koy Creek - another favorite fishing hole

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Positively encouraging

3/10/2013

You Get a Line and I'll Get a Pole

Do you remember catching your first fish? I do. It was a beaut. A 14 inch rainbow trout snagged out of Wiscoy Creek at Mill's Mill. I don't know who was more astonished - my father or me. Fishing is a childhood rite of passage if you live in the country.  In Western New York there are plenty of rivers, lakes, creeks and ponds to choose from. Learning to fish is an art and teaches many valuable lessons. You learn to sit still, be quiet, and wait.  All  very difficult to learn if you're a kid. But you'll willingly embrace them for the glory of reeling in a thrashing trout, bass, or bluegill.

Fishing equipment is also a big draw. My Dad's tackle box was full of intriguing lures, hooks, sinkers, bobbers, and extra line.  Weird looking, brightly colored bits to put on your line might just entice the unsuspecting fish.  Before any fishing excursion, we'd wait until dark to go looking for fat night crawlers to toss in our little bait bucket. There would also be a trip to the Castile Gun Shop to buy salted minnows for bait too.  Dad would check our poles and we'd practice casting our lines before climbing into the car and heading off to fish.

My mother usually packed a picnic lunch and we'd sit on the bank trying to be quiet so the fish would be tempted to nibble on the wriggling worm firmly impaled on the hook.  Baiting the hook was also something you needed to learn. No squeamishness was allowed for girls. You had to do it. The salted minnows were easier because they were already dead.  My big catch was dumped into a big bucket of water and we hauled it home. The beautiful trout had a short reprieve and was allowed to swim in the bathtub for a little while before my Dad finally filleted it and added it to the day's catch in the cast iron frying pan.

My favorite fishing memory is an early morning adventure with my Dad and brother.  We were going to be treated to a very early morning fishing trip and we had to get up while it was still dark.  We tiptoed out of the house so as not to wake my mother and sisters. We could hardly wait to get to the new fishing spot where we were sure to catch a ton of fish. We were duly warned to be quiet and we followed Dad through the thick woods, trying to walk like Indians, stealthy in the darkness. Finally we came to the embankment above the creek.  Somehow in the scramble to get down the bank, Dad slipped (he was carrying all the fishing equipment) and tumbled out of sight in the pre-dawn darkness. My brother and I weren't sure how to react to this turn of events. I think we laughed and were a little scared at the same time.  There was some muttering and a little yelling, but Dad was injury free, except for his wounded pride. I don't remember much fishing that morning. It could be that the rather noisy entrance to the creek scared the trout away and it was decided to go home to have some breakfast. I'm sure my father will correct me if my memories are not quite right.

Although I haven't fished in many years, those childhood memories are cherished.  So as April approaches and fishing season opens in New York, you might want to dust off the fishing gear and get outside.  I can hear Andy and Barney sitting on the front porch singing..."You get a line and I'll get a pole, honey." The fish are waiting and there are new tales about the one that got away to tell.

Photo - Streamside Charters
East Koy Creek - another favorite fishing hole

No comments: