Sunday, May 27, 2012

How I Spent My Spring--Travelogue: Part III Fishing With Bruce

My brother Bruce and my two youngest sons
I've never really been much of a fisherman.  Fishing wasn't much fun when I was a kid.  To me, fishing was going to Fan Creek with my Dad, being put on a rock in the middle of the stream that I couldn't get off of, getting dehydrated and sunburned while Dad fished for three hours.

I've often thought I should learn how to do it and learn to like it because I have children who would probably like to be fishermen.  Last week, my brother, Bruce made the decision for me and invited my two youngest sons to go fishing with him.  They accepted the invitation and when I took them to his house on Saturday, he asked why I wasn't coming.  I tried to make some excuse, but he said I didn't have to fish, I should just come and take pictures of my sons fishing.  I finally agreed to go and now I'm glad I did.  We had a wonderful time fishing.  I could even see myself learning to like it.

We drove out to Warm River near Ashton, Idaho and walked in to the fishing hole which is in the campground.  It was a little chilly and when we first arrived it was drizzling.  We went to the river and the boys started fishing right away.  A man across the river started shouting at us and warned us of the skunk that was approching.  I did something really stupid, I tried to get close enough to get a good picture, but the skunk was wise and moved away from us quite rapidly, choosing to stay under cover.  I did not get a good pic and I did not get sprayed.  It wasn't for a lack of trying though.  He did raise his tail at us a couple of times, but we didn't corner him and he thought it best to leave us alone as well.

Warm River, Idaho

Bruce taught the boys how to spin cast and Rhys, my 12 year old caught a rainbow trout almost immediately.  He was really excited.  He hooked a couple more during the day and Bruce hooked one and let him fight it in, but that was the only one he caught from start to finish.  He felt like it was enough, though.  He had a great time and said he wanted to go back and fish again.

Bruce teaching the boys to fish

Rhys and his first fish
Garrett's day started out slower.  Bruce set Rhys up in a pretty good hole, but Garrett wasn't having much luck where he was so Bruce took him to a couple more spots.  Bruce had to help Rhys with something and I was with Garrett and the skunk.  We decided to go where Rhys was and on a whim, Garrett cast off the wooden bridge in the campground and immediately hooked a fish.  He was thrilled. 

Garrett and his fish
Then it started to rain.  Rhys and Garrett were getting cold and opted to sit in the car for awhile.  Bruce took his pole under a concrete bridge and started fishing.  The rain stopped for a few minutes and the sun came out from behind a cloud and Bruce started catching fish.  I hollered at the boys and they came over and watched him catch a bunch.  In less than ten minutes, Bruce had caught his limit.  They wanted to start fishing again but by that time, the sun had gone back behind a cloud and it started to rain again. 

We packed up and started for home.  There is a place on Warm River where for a hundred yards there is no fishing allowed.  It's a kind of fish preserve and the trout grow to be huge.  Some of them are eight to ten pounds and nearly 20 inches long.  There is a vending machine there with Purina Trout Chow in it and you can get a handful for a quarter.  Some people brought bags of dry cat food and fed the fish with that.  It was neat to see the water boiling with big fish trying to feed on the cat food.  My Dad took me there when I was a boy.  I'd forgotten how much fun it was to do that.

Big trout in the water

Big ole rainbow trout

Another big fish

On our way out of the canyon, Bruce pointed out an old stone bridge.  It's not really used much anymore and it's all overgrown, but it looked like it ought to be in Vermont or someplace back east.  I had to photograph it.

Very old stone bridge

When we got home, Bruce taught us all how to filet the fish so you didn't have to gut them.  Pretty ingenious.  Basically you just slice the meat off the bones and leave the head, tail and gut cavity intact.  Lots easier than the old way.  This was a great day.  I'm glad my big brother Bruce convinced me to go.  We had a really nice time with him.  I think he may have convinced me to give fishing another shot and I may end up buying a license and a fishing pole. 

Our haul

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