It was late December and hunting season was just about over. Deer season was long gone, we had a week left of bear season, turkey season just ended (although I did get one turkey), and we only had a few weeks of geese and quail hunting. And September (deer season) would be very far away ! So I was very sad.
Then I realized: fishing! That’s sort of like hunting! We have a lot of lakes and rivers nearby, and I camp by them all the time. I knew nothing about fishing, but I was already excited. So I started googling “trout fishing”, “fishing”, learned about Power bait, different knots, the difference between native and stocked trout, etc. Watched some Youtube videos. Went to Sportsman’s warehouse, told them I wanted to start trout fishing and I knew nothing about it. They set me up with a fishing rod, 6 lb test line, some weights, Powerbait, lures and my fishing license.
Watched some more videos about how to cast the line and how to real it in. Watched some videos on how to tie the Clinch knot (that didn’t turn out to be the best. Since then I’ve been using the Palomar knot, and had no problems) ) A friend said to take along a washcloth to grab the fish, it’s easier to handle, and it won’t get away. This proved to be very helpful later.
So on January 7th, Sunday, I was up at the crack of dawn and went to our local lake. Hensley Lake. It’s small, and doesn’t seem like much, but it’s warm in the summer (not the clearest, but oh well), and beautiful all year round. And as it turns out, full of all kinds of fish.
I was there right around sunrise. I cast my line a few times and after a few minutes reeled it in. I’ve heard that you’re supposed to keep out there a long time, but I was very impatient. After only about 20 minutes there was a fish on it, kept reeling it in, I was about to lift it out when it broke loose and took off. Turns out the knot didn’t hold up. I know it was tied on right because a friend did it.
Put on another hook, using the same knot (the only knot I knew) and cast it again. Not even 5-10 minutes went buy, another fish. Afraid of it getting away I reeled it in even faster. It did break off again, but it was over land. I was standing on a pile of very steep rocks, (a lot of them were moving) and I almost broke my ankle trying to get to the fish. This one wasn’t gonna get away! It kept bouncing and dancing around, I threw the washcloth on it, that calmed it down. Eventually it slid under a rock, but I was able to get it.
I got my very first trout ! 12 inches. Stayed for a few more hours, but I didn’t have even a bite. This has been the same ever since. For 6 weeks, any time I went out, I got one fish right at sunrise (20 minutes before – after), and nothing after, even if stayed several hours.
Went home, and by that time I realized I sprained my ankle. The few hours out there I was on my feet and didn’t hurt much, but by the time I got home I was in a lot of pain, hardly been able to put weight on it. It progressed to even worse, it hurt even to the slightest touch. I cleaned the fished and baked in in the oven. During the 20 minutes it was baking I laid down, wondering how I was going to go to work, I have to drag my right leg around.
And then the miracle happened. Got the fish out of the oven, put it on the plate and spent about 15-20 minutes eating it. When I was finished, I got up and … no pain. Any pain I had was gone and never returned. Not kidding and not making it up. I tell this story to anyone who listens and I’m not sure if they believe me, but this is a true story. J I chalk it up to the fact that the fish made sprain my ankle, and by eating it I got revenge, so we’re even.
I go back to that spot many times, and each time I remember my first fish. I watch my step carefully, because I know next time I won’t be so lucky.
Do you remember your first fish? Leave me a comment, let me know how you got it 🙂