FISHING FOR THE BIG ONES!
I’ve been sitting here in Paradise watching a couple of fishermen in their boats catching trout and loving it. Many are doing catch and release…they just love being out in a boat enjoying the light breeze under deep blue skies, surrounded by majestic mountains. Many take dinner home with them. I’d be out there too, if I didn’t have a wonderful deck overlooking it all…and I don’t have to clean them!
But it does bring back some memories of outstanding fishing experiences I’ve enjoyed, such as fishing for mackerel with my dad as a kid, and then seeing him teach my boys (and many others) the Maine knack for finding and catching a bucket-full. One of the big benefits of his prolific abilities at locating and catching 20 to 30 every time he went out was that he would trade most of them to the lobstermen to be used for bait, and in return, we’d get free lobsters. That was a very sweet deal!
I also loved hiking in the spring with Dad in N.H. and finding a running brook deep in the woods where we’d catch brook trout. He’d build a little fire on the rocks, fry the catch up in a frying pan, and we’d eat our fill. They were probably the tastiest fish in the world! Then we catch the limit again and take them home. Hiking down the mountain we’d uncover little pink May Flowers (an amazing scent) to take to Mom—all very cherished memories. I also ice fished with my dad on Squam Lake (Golden Pond). He’d chop out half a dozen holes and set up a line in each. My job was to ice skate from hole to hole and let him know when a big pickerel had been caught. It was a great way to have Dad as a pal for an afternoon.
One of my best fishing expeditions was on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho many years ago. A group of us would be notified when the salmon were running. We’d be flown to a remote location, given big down jackets and a couple of guides, and off we’d go in the very early cold morning with poles, bait, nets and freezing fingers to try our luck. I caught two and my ex-husband caught one. They were huge and took 20-30 minutes to reel in. We took them back to Reno, all cleaned and cut in half, one of them smoked. A half a fish fed 16 of our neighbors…we had some good parties!
Now I get to watch our grandkids catch the lake trout with their dads. It’s a special treat to grill them and have them for a meal or at least a tasty appetizer. The longest one so far was 20 inches. Aidan was about 5 at the time, and his dad’s biggest fish was only 18 inches. That was cause for a big celebration!