LJWorld.com weblogs Linda's Backroad Musings
A Fishing Story
It's not like I've never fished before. As a kid, I remember fishing with a cane pole, bobber and worm for bullheads in Clarks Creek, later running lines all night for channel cat at Reading Lake, catching walleye below the dam at Perry and trolling for white bass at Milford Lake. Heck, we even spent a week fishing for walleye at Canada's Cedar Lake several years ago. Of course, there is Clinton Lake and the farm pond.Until last week, I have never fished for trout.We are camped in Routt National Forest west of Ft Collins, Colorado. The talk at the bait shop in Gould is people are catching trout on worms, salmon eggs and power bait below the dam at North Michigan Reservoir located in nearby Colorado State Forest. Three friends from our party and I are on the road at 6:00 am the next morning excited about the possibility of catching our breakfast. I am dressed in a winter coat against the 35 degree morning. As we approach the lake, to our dismay, a car is there. Did someone beat us to the spot? We peer over the dam to see the young family who told us where to fish the night before. We begin the steep descent to the area below the dam. The adults already there are accomplished fly anglers, beautifully arching their lines to settle the bait wherever they want it. We have rod and reels. The couple assures us they will share the limited space around the pool. My friends get their hook baited and in the water. I am struggling to get the hook tied with my cold fingers. Finally, we are all "in." My friends each catch a fish. I am hung up.Hook retied and baited, I am back in business. I feel the hit, jerk to set the hook and the trout flies out of the stream and lands behind me. Excited about the fish, but embarrassed about my performance, I hurriedly put the fish on a stringer. The young couple quietly asks their son to move closer to them.Everyone is catching fish. I feel another hit. Excitement takes over and I yank-too hard again. The fish escapes. The hook catches on the side of my jeans. Nothing to do but cut the line and leave the hook hoping no one notices. I tie on another hook and move to a different location away from everyone. I finally catch another fish. We soon leave as everyone except me has caught their limit. We return two more mornings and catch our limit each time. I improve. When asked about the fishhook in my jeans later that first morning, I said I put it there so it wouldn't get lost. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.