Sunday, June 28, 2009

Fishing with Jay

I am not much of a fisherman. I never have been. There are probably quite a few reasons but I will give you some thoughts of my own as for the reason why.

When I was young, I went out fishing with my brother and his friend. They were fishing up stream while I was swimming in the local swimming hole. I recall them coming around the corner and my brothers friend telling me to get out of his fishing hole. "You are swimming in my fishing hole.", he said. "You are fishing in my swimming hole.", I returned. "If you don't get out, I am going to just cast away.". "I don't care.", I said. Then, he did the unthinkable and cast catching me in the side of my head with a red and white wobbleright. My mom told me that it was quite a funny thing to see me walking up to the house with that lure swinging back and forth from my head. I did not see the humor at the time....I did later.
A few years later, I was fishing down at the pond in Gilchrist and I cast out over my head. The only problem was that I caught myself in the back of my head with the hook. Once again, I had to get a doctor to extract my miss cast. Dr. Goldsmith, who had done surgery on me a while before joked with me as he walked into the office. Something about being happy to see me but lets meet on different terms or something like that. I am sure my mom remembers the exact words. What is even more funny is that Dr. Goldsmith often comes into the diner now with all of the other retired docs from the area.
I did not fish for quite some time after that but towards the end of my high school years, I was asked by a fellow who worked with my brother at the mill if I wanted to join him and my brother fishing after church on Sunday. Little Joe McVey was the man that I looked up to there. I agreed and we all went out in Marvin's pickup to the river just below the dam at Wickiup. There were big signs back then saying 'No Fishing' but who reads signs. Little Joe said lets fish here. I was game but Marvin wanted to do the right thing and go down below the signs. Little Joe and I began catching fish right and left. I limited out in no time and went downstream to where Marv was not doing well at all. I left my catch close to him and returned for more. Little Joe was no where to be seen. I heard a horn honk behind me but thought nothing of it. I began casting out and was reeling in a whopper when a man standing next to me said "Hi, how is the fishing.". "Great", I said as I fought with my prey. The friendly man then said, "Did you know that it is illegal to fish here.". I looked down at his blue shirt and saw the symbol for a Fish and Wildlife officer. I was standing right next to one of the signs so what could I say.

I released my fish as he wrote me a ticket. "My dad will kill me.", I said to him. "He does not have to know if you just pay the fine.", came the return from the still friendly officer who I could tell was getting a kick out of my innocence.
I walked back to the truck to find Little Joe waiting for me. "I saw them coming across the dam and was trying to warn you by honking the horn.", he said. Little Joe and Marv agreed to pay my fine as I had no money and we thought that would be all that she wrote. But it wasn't.

A few days later at school, Rust Gilchrist slapped me on the back and said, "I didn't know that you had it in you.". He showed me that it was in the paper. Now, I never got into any trouble and was known for that so my peers got a kick out of teasing me over it. When I arrived home for lunch, Marvin took me to the side and told me that I needed to tell dad. He said that dad did not know what had happened but was hearing things that I was in trouble with the law.

So, when Dad came home that evening, I told him that we needed to talk. I explained what I had done and he began to laugh. "I thought that it was worse.", he said.

So...because of those and the fact that it is a very patient quiet sport, I guess I just found it....boring. Now, I have gone out fishing but not for the fishing part but the friendship and talk. That is why when Jay asked me to take him fishing last week, I agreed. I felt that it would be a good bonding time.

Jay and I got up early and headed to Jake's for breakfast before hitting the road. Our destination was the South Twin Lakes. We had gone there a few years back with the men from my church and I figured that we could go out in our raft that I had not taken out in quite some time but had checked the night before for air leaks and found none.

We turned at Fall River so that we could take the shorter route to the lake. No signs were on the road, however, saying that they were working on it. Soon, we were off of the pavement and on gravel for miles. But, we could still keep up a pretty good pace and so I figured that we would still get there much earlier. I came up on a truck and boat traveling twenty miles an hour and wondered if I would ever get by it. I found a short stretch and passed the two and we were back to around forty.
Then, we saw the signs for a stop ahead and a young lady standing with a stop sign. She came over to the window and told me that the pilot car was headed back our way so it should not be too long. I told her that I had taken this route for a short cut. "Some shortcut!", she laughed. As Jay and I waited, the slow poke that we had passed pulled in behind us.
We waited around five minutes and the pilot car showed up with no one coming from the other way. We began following her and we began to leave the truck and boat behind. The pilot car seemed to notice and slowed down to keep him behind us. We passed up one of those very large wheeled construction dump trucks who was just about loaded. It pulled out behind us after we drove by. I watched in the mirror as that same slow large wheeled construction dump truck had to slow down himself and fall in line behind Mr. Slowpoke behind me. We went through the rest of the zone at a speed of around 15mph at the most.
Free and clean again, I speeded up and was soon back on the pavement and turned off into the Twin Lakes. We drove into South Twin and the first thing I noticed was the sign saying that it was a fee zone. I looked over at the parking lot and than back to the lot of the store. If I was renting a boat from them, I could park there but i wasn't so I paid the fee and made ready the boat. Jay and I carried the boat with our supplies in it to the lake and pushed off.

We had not gone but a couple of feet when I felt it. The cold wetness in the back of my shorts. The boat held air but had a water leak in the bottom. Dejected, I turned around and headed to shore. We jumped out of the boat but the water had done the damage already. Jay laughed as he said that I looked like I had peed my pants in the back. I asked him how he felt about fishing from the bank. "I really wanted to go out in a boat, Papa.", came the answer. So, we loaded up the boat in the van and headed to the store that we could have parked at.

"Well, howdy, Jake's is here.", came the greeting, "What can I do for you guys.". We asked to rent a boat and the guys assistant, a very friendly jovial big guy, headed down to make the boat ready.
"Just go down to the dock.", I was told, "and look for the big butt sticking out of a boat. That will be yours.". We walked down to the dock and that big guy was bent over a boat at the end. "Hi", I said. The man looked up and at the same time slipped turning over the boat and falling in the water. I dropped everything to help him but he told me not to worry. "I knew that was going to happen sometime.", he said as he struggled to swim to the shore. "Number one is your boat.", he yelled. We found our boat on the opposite end of the dock and loaded up. I checked on the big guy before we left and he said that he was OK as he sat on the bench on the beach catching his breath.

We rowed out into the middle, baited out hooks, and cast out. I took a couple of pics for the record and we began fishing and talking. We sat there in the middle of the boat both thinking of how easy the one on the dock had gone over for the big guy. We sat and just talked....about anything, sports mainly. He opened his tackle box and asked me about the various lures that were there. He picked up a red and white wobble right and so I had to tell him that story at which he got a pretty good laugh.

We were not even getting a nibble and I noticed that we were drifting towards another boat with three people in it who seemed to be doing pretty well. I yelled over and asked them what they were using and they said power bait. "So are we, but we are not doing well.". "That is because you are using the wrong type.", he said, "Row over here, we got plenty and will share with you.". I rowed to the boat and he handed Jay a bottle of yellow maze power bait. We thanked him and rowed away as Jay baited his hook and threw it in. Almost instantaneously, Jay had one of the hook. I grabbed the net as he reeled the fish in. I scooped up his treasure and showed Jay how to string up the fish and put it back into the water.

I had not noticed our drift and with a bump, we came to the side of the lake. I rowed us back out and just over from our new friends and we began fishing some more watching the time so that we would keep it in the four hour limit that we had set up. We set anchor to keep us there and Jay soon had another on. We netted his catch, reset the hook and cast off again. Both of us had nibbles but nothing of substance. I soon had one on but lost it in the reel in. Jay also soon had a very large one on the line, his biggest so far but we lost it just before I was able to scoop it up.

We ate our lunches without any more bites and it was soon time to head back in. Jay asked if he could row so I let him row and guided him into the dock. He did a great job and I was sure that he enjoyed himself. We took a second to take a picture and then headed home with his prize. "Mom is going to cook these for supper.", he announced.

We got to the house and with Judy's help we cleaned the fish and placed them in the fridge. I called Carrie up and told her to get ready to cook some fish. "I can't do that.", she announced, "I hate the smell of them. I might even throw up.". I told her that I would talk to Jay about it before she arrived.

Jay and I went down to Jake's and began setting up for the evening poker tourney. I told him not to expect his mom to cook the fish for him as it kind of turned her stomach to think of it. "Boy, am I relieved.", he said, "I hate fish except shrimp." With a good laugh, we finished our chores and waited for his mom to arrive.

A good day of fishing....another experience with my grandson.....and I can only hope it to be a good bonding for him.

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