Floating Water Feature
Hello! I certainly had no intention of being so long away from this blog! Phew!! Much has been happening around here. I will just jump right in & start… with a little background…
Arrow loves fishing. I usually take a book to read while he fishes. Maybe taking a turn or two with the rod to practice my casting. It is a quiet, peaceful time. The birds are singing, frogs are croaking and the quiet “plop” of the lure and weight hitting the water at fairly regular intervals. I have a confession to make… I have usually taken Arrow fishing when it was mid afternoon and sometimes sunny. Not the best time to catch a fish. He still loves fishing.
A Casting Arrow
Last weekend our HOA had the 3rd Annual Fishing Derby. The first derby we all went, though only Arrow actually fished. Yes, I did take pictures! No, Arrow didn’t catch a fish at the first derby. It was after that first derby The Patriarch’s Father’s Day gift was a fishing pole for his “almost antique” reel. A red Pflueger his dad bought him… many moons ago. The second derby only the guys went. I stayed home and did who knows what now. I sure don’t remember! Again no fish were caught, by us anyway. This year I decided to tag along to take pictures.
The day started out cloudy and quite cool. We all donned our raincoats and I grabbed the large black and white golf umbrella thinking it might be a good idea to keep my camera dry. Even though the lake is within walking distance, we decided to drive. A short walk to the gazebo and the guys were registered and ready to fish! They picked out the spot where they wanted to fish, along the north bank and near the foot bridge, just across from the northern most of the two small islands.
The Patriarch & Arrow... Casting About
Within our HOA we have a small, man-made private lake, a private park and a swimming pool. Oh, before you start thinking we are part of the ‘upper crust’ of society… we do not live on the lake. THAT is not in our price range!! LOL The development was started over 50 years ago as a vacation get-a-way spot and has become a year-round residential area. Having access to the lake is very nice. No motors are allowed so that isn’t ‘that’ noise. It is stocked with trout twice a year, and there are also bass and sunfish. Along with frogs, geese, herons, muskrats, ducks and osprey. It is very pretty and I like to sit on the park bench while Arrow fishes.
The Patriarch Casts
Arrow had been a bit upset when he saw the weather until we told him that cold and rainy is good fishing weather! The guys stood and cast out their lines reeling them in slowly… cast and reel… cast and reel… cast and reel… Arrow wore his barn boots and was able to fish from in the water for a bit. I wandered about taking photos and enjoying the rainy weather. One gust of wind grabbed another derby participant’s umbrella from the beach area of the lake (to the left of where we decided to fish) and it floated merrily along until it reached the opposite shore. It made for a very unusual water feature!
The Patriarch used a long, gray plastic worm on a hook and no weight or bobber on his line. Arrow tried a variety of lures, with and without Power Bait. Arrow did clean the lake a bit by “catching” some of the weeds.
Arrow's Fishing Boots
After the guys had been fishing for about an hour, The Patriarch asked me if I wanted to cast some before we went home. I said sure and handed him my camera. He handed me his rod and reel… and I cast out…
Mrs R Fishing
With my first cast I was getting nibbles on my line! So I cast out as far as I could and more toward the island. By my fourth of fifth cast I had a fish on my line! I guess I shouldn’t have shouted in my excitement, but I was SO surprised!! I don’t even know how to bring in a fish properly… but I managed to get that fish to the edge of the lake. Of course we have no net and one of the neighboring derby-fishers loaned us their net. Arrow got into the water and scooped my fish out with the borrowed net. In the picture below you can see the large, gray, plastic worm hanging out of “my” fishes mouth!
We took my fish up to the gazebo to get the official weight and for me to register. I hadn’t intended to fish and certainly never expected to actually catch one. My trout weight in at 2 pounds 6 ounces and 17 inches long! We then gathered up our things and went directly home. The trout needed to be cleaned… I guess that is when I will lean how to clean a fish…
Gutting My Trout
Even my trusty “Joy of Cooking” cookbook does not give any instruction on cleaning a fish only how to fillet one. So The Patriarch & Arrow looked on and gave me some verbal help while I did the cutting. God sure dis make fish slippery!! The Patriarch had cleaned fish as a youth and Arrow observed one being cleaned a few weekends previous. But I wanted to know how to clean a fish to add to my preparedness skill list.
Cleaning Out the Inside Along the Spine
Since the trout was so small I choose not to fillet it but would cook it with the skin and skeleton still attached. After I was done cleaning it all up we bagged it up and put it in the refrigerator until dinner.
While the trout chilled at home we attended the HOA B-B-Que. I actually won a prize for my fish! There were a variety of prizes to choose from, sleeping bags, fishing poles, tackle boxes and nets. Yes I did select the net. We are ready for the next fish we catch!
And of course… a poem:
THE BOY ANGLER
UNDER the bridge that spans the stream—
Stream that gurgles and prattles away,
Stream that flashes with many a gleam—
The boy would pass the holiday.
I wonder if ever in all the earth
A happier heart warm’d human breast;
If ever such perfect, such rapturous mirth,
Was known as in that Eden blest!
I wonder if ever a gorgeous king,
In midst of all his jewell’d court,
Royal with sceptre and crown and ring,
Had ever such rich, ecstatic sport.
The bridge was ancient with log and beam,
And over it droop’d the willow-trees,
Dipping their catkins in the stream.
Asylum for fluttering birds and bees;
And here in this dim, secluded cave
The boy would come to muse o’er the wave.
He mus’d, for he lov’d all beauteous sights,
All sounds delicious that charm’d the place;
The insects gay, small water-sprites,
That skimm’d and circled in mazy race;
The water-ouzel flitting there,
The blue kingfisher, perch’d on spray,
Then dropping quick from leafy lair,
Shrill screaming as he seiz’d his prey.
And here the poor barefooted boy,
With tatter’d jerkin and hat of straw,
Enjoy’d the bliss, the speechless joy,
The angler’s rapture, without a flaw.
He watch’d the minnow’s quivering fin,
And silvery perch go swimming by,
The sunfish darting out and in,
The pickerel snap at the gaudy fly;
The little shiner, like diamond spark,
Shoot through the waters deep and dark,
And the trout, like glancing Indian shaft.
Defying even his cunning craft.
It was a pleasure to note the frog
That sat open-mouth’d on weedy log;
To note the turtles, all speckled o’er,
Bask on the slippery rocks of the shore;
The muskrats paddling in sluggish play,
And mink and the otter on their way.
It was pleasant when hot midsummer days
Scorch’d earth and air with fervid blaze,
When the very atmosphere seem’d to swoon
With the drowsy influence of the noon,
To sit in his hermit cell and share
The voices of nature in the air;
The chirp of the cricket in the grass,
The snap of the grasshoppers as they pass,
The anthems of song-birds in the hedge,
The whistle of snipe across the sedge,
And all the entrancing symphonies
Of breeze and of wave, of birds and bees—
All paintings of nature’s matchless art.
All music of nature that thrills the heart.
McLellan, Isaac. Poems of the Rod and Gun. New York: Henry Thorpe, 1886.