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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Why I stopped fishing....

Why I stopped fishing...

My fishing experience was very special, for safety reasons it always included family outings.  There’s no way I would be allowed near the river or lake by myself at that age (we are talking nine or ten years old).  My mother was very protective, and possible overly cautious.  I can honestly say that I inherited that from her.  When the family moved to the Northwest from Texas, is when we became (especially me) one with nature (everything and anything outdoors).  I totally identify with the large number of Dallas Cowboy fans, even if my NFL team allegiance belongs elsewhere.  When I lived in Texas, I was so young but already indoctrinated into believing that no other State mattered.  Some of the more popular television programs helped to heighten the hype.  One such program was “Tales of the Texas Rangers,” (1955-59).  There again television programing of the 1950’s and 60’s will be material for another blog posting.

I guess the relevance is that in Texas I was a city boy, and when we arrived in Washington State I became a country boy.  The relocation introduced me to my 21 year old step brother that I was meeting for the first time.  I swear if you looked up outdoors in the dictionary, his picture would be there.  He was a hard working foreman at a large farm (approximately 7,000 acres).  I was so impressed with his work ethic, and especially his well-rounded skills.  His truck had a gun rack and he regularly would go pheasant hunting on his way home from work (during open season of course).  He taught me how to fish, how to ride horse, drive tractor, he even introduced me to deer hunting.  I don’t think I’ve ever told him but I owe him a big debt of gratitude for helping me build the foundation that would become the life platform on which I still stand.  That is another great subject for future posting.

Meanwhile back at the farm; before I got caught up in the world of work (due to age limitations) fishing was a regular part of my day.  We had ponds on the property that were stocked with fish, and whenever possible we would fish off the side of the river that bordered our property.  I must remind you that we didn’t have Nintendo, Xbox, or any other Game Systems.  We actually had to use our bodies and minds to keep ourselves entertained.  It wasn’t unusual for me to be riding a horse from one pasture to another and make believe that I was being chased by outlaws, or god forbid a band of wild Native Americans (politically correct).  Now back to fishing and the reason I quit.

It was a typically beautiful hot summer day with not a cloud in the sky (easy 87 degrees).  The river was as usual running beautifully fast and smooth taking the mountain snow melt right past our property.  The river water level was low typical of the time of year, and there were many boulders that were sticking out above the water level.  Being the adventures type that I’ve always been I took all my fishing gear (tackle box, fishing pole, fish net, some bait, a couple of candy bars, and a soda), and jumped from boulder to boulder until I was half way into the river some 20 feet from shore.  My arms were actually filled to overload.  Approximately three and a half hours later, after catching my limit for the day, I decide to get back to shore. 

By now the river level was a little higher and some of the smaller stepping stones were no longer above water, so what had been a fairly easy skip and jump out to the fishing spot was now a larger jump, and jump situation.  You see, when the gap is that far apart, you have to keep your momentum going, to complete the jump.  To make a long story short the last boulder that I jumped on to had a curled snake laying on it enjoying the warmth from the boulder.  In retrospect, it was probably all of 18 inched long, but at the time it may as well have been a python, or rattle snake.  By the time I saw the snake I couldn’t do anything but land on it.  The snake wrapped itself around my ankle, and that night I couldn’t sleep from the experience.  I never went fishing again, unless it was from a boat, and only into my twenties.

That is about as big and bad as my fishing story gets.  What’s your best fishing story?  Stay tuned the best is yet to come…..

1 comment:

  1. I went fishing once in the snohomish river and caught the fish and as I screamed and reeled my line in and saw the fish for my then husband to remove it from the line because I was to scared to touch it, so much for showing our 3 yr old son how to fish. LOL