Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The First Fishing Trip

This is the first installment of what I hope to be a series of stories from times long, long ago and far away.

It was going to be a fine spring, opening day of fishing in eastern Washington. I was probably six or seven. Dad got my younger brother and me up really early, before daylight. We loaded up the 55 Ford black and white two-door Crown Victoria and drove out into the country. The fishing gear, worms and moms sandwiches were all packed in the trunk with ease.

I don’t know where we went (I must have slept most of the way), but finally we parked. We got our fishing gear out of the trunk, it was barely light. We climbed over the rocks along the side of the road and were rewarded with a dark, deep lake in an old gravel quarry.

We climbed down the rocks to the side of the water and couldn’t wait to start fishing. I think Dad hooked all the worms.

The morning was cold but we started catching rainbow trout so we didn’t really notice. Nice ones about eight inches or so. The sun rose and the chill was replaced with a warmth and glimmer off the pond.

But as the sun rose, my joy sank; both Dad and my brother had caught four fish each, I only had two. The time was rapidly approaching for us to pack up and go home. Finally, Dad made the call: “Time to go.”

In my frustration, I began to fling the worm out onto the pond, trying to snap it off so I would not have to touch it, I guess. After about three or four of these “casts” (my bamboo pole had about 20 feet of line, no reel) when to my great surprise and joy a trout bit. I pulled it in more excited than I can put into words. On top of catching the fish in this manner, it turned out to be one of the biggest fish we caught that day.

That was a good ending to a great fishing trip. We climbed back up the rocks to the car, loaded up, and started the trip home.

A few miles into the trip, a small thunder storm started to the right side of the car. As we drove I noticed it was raining on the right side of the car the wiper struggling to clear the water and the sun was shining on the driver’s side, the wiper squeeking on the dry surface. It was really cool, but kind of odd, something like the writer of this story.

I think we went fishing opening day nearly every year until I graduated from college about 16 years later. I can't remember for sure, but we likely had fried fish for dinner that night. I like trout but always make quite a show of removing all the bones.

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