Total Recall .... Do you have it?
Many fish are caught, admired, photographed and released. A few that hold special significance may become a trophy that hangs on your wall. Still others may provide you with a tasty dinner, shore lunch or snack. Each one is appreciated but only a few are remembered in complete detail. The ones that are forever etched in your memory have a unique set of circumstances that make them stand out from all the others. It is not always just the biggest fish that gets this distinction.
Taking into account all my years of fishing and the countless fish that have come to my hand there are just a few that hold a total recall of events. These flash backs are ignited by a picture, conversation or just a fleeting thought. I can remember the exact place as well as the day and the weather for some. Not only is the fish recalled but also much of the events leading up to and after the memorable catch. The sights and sounds return and even the words that were spoken are again heard which enhance the whole experience.
Some of the best times of my youth were spent on the banks of the Schuylkill River and Perkiomen Creek. Still etched in my mind is the day that my buddy Rick and I were wading the waters near the mouth of the Perky and casting C.P. Swings. We were catching smallmouth bass on almost every cast. For some reason I can see the spot I'm standing in, the clear water and Rick off to my left. I'm facing upstream and watching the spinning blade of the lure come toward me. The sun was shinning bright on that day back in 1966. Then on another day probably in the same time period I can feel the tug of a fish that I could not identify at first glance. Standing on a small island in the Perky, just below the old Goodrich Dam, I caught my first Walleye. The sparkle of the fishes scales as I lifted him from the water will forever be remembered. The lure was a Mepps spinner with chrome blade and yellow body with black spots.
Over the years Rick and I have caught a good number of Walleye that are in the trophy category. There are two that stand out from all the others. We were in Canada and staying at a small fish camp on the Little Rideau lake. At the time the lake was known for holding some big walleye. We were determined to get some. The first night we were on the hunt but not with fishing rods. We were searching the humps, drop offs and flats from the boat with a spotlight in hope of finding where the Walleye were moving. The Walleye's eyes shine like a deer and we spotted a few pretty easy. One of the flats, coming out of deep water, seemed to have some activity and the next night we arrived early and anchored on that spot and were ready for action. Knowing that there may be only a short period of feeding we began casting in the area that the fish were spotted the previous night. It wasn't long before Rick's rod was bending and he was rewarded with a eight pound Walleye. I think his very next cast had the same result ! So here were two fish that we talk about almost every time we get together. I can still see the fish in the spotlight and watch Rick work them into the net. Remembered because of the time, research and preparations that we did to catch these fish.
I will mention one more for now. The time was November 1984. The place was the Salmon River in upstate New York. The quarry was Steelhead. After three days of trying to figure out the "where" and "how" of catching these elusive fish Rick and I finally put it all together. We ended up with four or five but the one is remembered because the fight ended when he was finally dragged to shore and like a football player making a flying tackle I dove on it to keep it from getting away. It was cold and snowing with only a few hours left before we had to head home. This particular Steelhead still hangs on my wall and brings back that day like it was yesterday.
There are other fish that I could mention including my 50 inch Musky but that is a story in itself and I may just tell you about that some other day. For now I again say...
Thanks for reading "Fishing Fever" !