Tuesday, January 17, 2012

1986 Fox River Report:

1986 Fox River Report:

After a long day of playing hacky sack, playing on sega genesis and listening to my brand new walkman. My dad comes home from work and says we are going night fishing in Elgin! Totally Awesome. I scarf down my mom’s famous chili. My dad takes the frozen milk gallon filled with water and breaks it with a hammer for ice. I go down to the basement fridge and grab crawlers, leeches, and chicken livers. He grabs the lantern and the net and I grab rod-holders, rods, bells, and buckets to sit on. We load the wagon and mom yells to be careful. I say something about catching a body to gross her out and my father says to knock it off. He starts the car, I try to sneak in a def leopard tape, he looks at it and says “No way am I listening to that sh-t” I laugh and we are on our way. As we cruise down Lake Street we play slug bug while he sings to Waylon and Willie and the boys. We drive past the ADULT drive-in and laugh at the titles. Now playing PussnBoots snicker snicker. He laughs and says “Daniel it does not matter how far you stretch that neck of yours, you are not going to see anything!” We turn down Slade street and now my stomach gets nervous and I am excited to get started. This is the part were I foolishly tell the best fisherman in the world that I the zit faced mullet wearing punt is going to kick his ass tonight!  He is wearing some very old bib over-alls some beat-up hat a trucker gave him at work.(which was amazing in itself the mans head is huge) He chuckles and says “we will see what we will see.”  We each set up two rods with Wolf river rigs. A wolf river rig is a bell or river weight with to snelled eagle claw hooks above it . Each hook is a different size. There is a small one on top for leeches, minnows, and red worms and a big one on the bottom for crawlers, shrimp, and livers. Each rod is casted at a 45 degree angle down river and placed in a rod holder. Then a clam on bell is put at the top of each rod as a strike indicator. With in the first minute my ugly stick bends to the breaking point and my bell is yelling at the top of its metal lungs!! “I got it!” I jump on the rod and the fish is huge heaviest cat I hooked this year. Even up stream its more than I can handle. Something is wrong though. My old man yells “its you drag its too tight!” I fumble with the drag the way women fumble their keys in horror movies. SNAP!!! I actually fall on my ass. I start yelling and swearing. The happy hillbilly next to me just laughs. Next I tie on a new rig only to throw my bell through the night across the river. You see, your suppose to take them off BEFORE you cast. Now my mustached nemesis is getting tickled at my misfortune. While I am tying I here get the net! Dad gets a nice cat, then another. What the ….. I stand up and take a step only to kick my lantern in the river. When I bend over to look my brand new flash light falls out of my flannel shirt to its watery doom. Wilfred Brimley over there is laughing so hard he cannot breath (my dad really looks like the Quaker oats guy). I get into one of the pouts that only a teenager can gets themselves into. I yell “I am going to the john” As I start walking up the hill I hear his drag again! God hates me I mumble as I find the nearest big tree to mark my territory. Right when I am in the middle of my business my bell starts going hard. Holy cow!!! I wiz all over myself tryin to get my jeans right and slide down the hill to my rod. What no fish! What gives??? My dad is holding his belly just like Santa. He cannot talk he is laughing soooo hard in his hand is MY BELL. About 30 minutes Later my dad gets a fish. He pulls it in 10 yards, then it would stop. He give it some line, pull it ten yards and it would stop. This goes on for a while and he says “dang it son, you give it a try.” The same thing happens to me. Finally he grabs the rod and says game over and goes to break the line. It gives! He reels in and it is heavy but not swimming. I shine the light down and it is a cat wrapped around a log. This channel cat is now a flat head because we were banging the poor fishes head against this log!!! Man that was funny.

Things settle down I manage to catch a couple small cats and the old man catches 4 for more. He has totally beaten my butt again. I have had one of the worse nights fishing of my life. However with all that went wrong this is one of my very most cherished fishing memories, worth its weight in gold, and more important to me then many of my great nights I would have with out the old guy. 

To you younger fisherman: Get your dad and a camera and go fishing. Carry everything, don’t complain, fish where he wants, Listen to his music, talk his head off, hug him, thank him, and say I love you. For time is moving just like the waters you fish and these opportunities will not always be there. These trips are proof that there is a GOD and he loves you both.

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