Some stories about growing up on a Farm and stories about my Dad
Annual Fishing Trips
which always happened right around the first weekend in May. A couple of reasons for that, the mayflies start hatching and fish get full ,so catching one gets harder, especially on a worm and two because the black flies hatch around the same time.
I and my trusted worm versus Harold and numerous flys.
It took well over an hour to get to the fishing hole and the last 17 Klm of the trek is off the pavement . We had his aluminum canoe, and a steeper for tea, two mugs, some basics for cooking trout outdoors (tinfoil, salt and pepper) over a camp fire and always a sandwich , just in case.
He knew all of the homesteads along the way and different ones would come out during our trips, but over the years I heard them all a few times and cherish them.
As we made our way in to ” the spot” we passed a spot where after the war Dad had guided hunters after he returned from the war. The camp he used to guide out of was called Birchdale . He would rattle of the names of fellow guides and hunters, who were mainly form the United States, they would walk for hours covering sometimes 10 -15 miles a day. Over ridges, through woods and around lakes. Then if they were successful, and often they were, then the would have to get the whitetail back to camp.
On route we would pass small brooks , that I’m told if you follow to where they hit the river you might catch a fish. Telling stories of when trout were plentiful. He would point out every old trail and have tale about hunting or fishing off in that direction.
Honestly , he always caught more than me. He had the ability to land his fly exactly where a fish had broke water. The River, we went to yearly is very lazy in our portion, It is very easy to lay the canoe up against a granite rock to fish the pools below it. Sometimes getting out on the giant granites to fish a bit.
The main event of the trips was our riverside feast. By midday we were at the bottom of our run. There is an existing fire pit that we use, first a fire to build, then cleaning a few of our trout , placing them each tin foil a bit of salt and pepper placing in the fire. The steeper , old blackened wire handle ,of riverwater boiled to make our tea. I have honestly never had a better cup of tea nor a trout taste any better.
Dad over the years had some health /heart issues , being diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Shortness of breath, poor circulation. Our trips became spaced out . Just before his 94 birthday I offered to take him fishing . Only this time no canoe, a couple of lawn chairs so we could shore fish where a different river drains into ” Our spot” . I was able to back my Toyota Tacoma very close to the rivers edge. I set up his chair , got his fly rod ready as he made his way to the chair , only standing a short time to flick his fly in the rushing water. We spent a couple hours there. I caught a couple perchthat were released and finally a small trout. We did have a fire and eat our catch, but no steeper of tea, While making his way to the truck he had a spell, a shortness of breath, I got his lawn chair and he had a shot of nytro. I realized then . This would be our last fishing trip .
We took our time getting out of the back woods. We took a few, I’ll call them off roads from our backroad. Maybe a few spot we shouldn’t been. We had lots of laughs , more stories. After about a half hour, on our way, his breathing returned to normal. He looked at me and said ” now you know how short of breath I am “. It was very scary, and a eyeopener.
I am very grateful he and I got to share this tradition for years.