Wednesday Tom and I went fishing with his buddy Dave. He has a boat with swivel chairs and an outboard motor with lots of horsepower. Dave is sort of like Tom in that he has been around ranching back in his younger days and is so beat up physically from it he’s had to be on disability now. He looked to be in his late 50s with long gray hair tied in a ponytail. Unlike Tom, I didn’t get the impression that he was a cowboy.
We headed out to a small man-made lake a few miles from the homestead, going this way and on paved county roads that had numbers but not names. We arrived and Dave backed the boat trailer to the bank along a boat dock where I could safely climb inside. Then we were off to a portion of the lake about a hundred yards from shore where we baited up and cast our lines. I used one of Dave’s rod and reel setup and had a nice orange and copper lure that looked promising.
The lake reminded me a lot of the Potholes over near Othello because those too were man made from the irrigation the farmers needed to help keep the crops, they raised alive. This was no different. Hatchery fish, mostly trout were introduced to this pond periodically to allow sport anglers to fish and release their catches. On occasion though, a few of these fish got smart enough to get older and bigger, making them keepers for a nice fish fry once we got home.
After we were ready Dave began trolling, keeping the boat’s speed down by idling the outboard engine and moving gently over the pond’s surface. I also teased the fish by bobbing the rod up and down slightly, jigging for a bite.
Dave got the first bite which he brought in and saw it was a small rainbow. The hook snagged too deep into its gills and so he slammed its head hard against the bow’s gunnels, killing it and tossed it out onto the lake where a nearby eagle swooped down and took it back to its aerie where I’m sure a pair of eaglets waited for their meal. I hoped that Dave doing that brought us a measure of good luck.
Ten minutes later Tom got a hit and then after he brought in a slightly bigger trout than Dave’s, which he released and threw back, I got a hit. Mine was about five inches and was just big enough to keep. Had I known what I found out later, I most likely would have insisted Tom thrown that back too.
We caught four more trout between us and then I got hold of a fighting catfish which I had a devil of a time to bring into the boat. I asked Tom to finish reeling it in for me. It was just under ten inches long and weight out around three pounds.
When we finished, we drove home having to slow down for a tractor-like farming implement that took up over half of the two-lane road. I quite enjoyed the leisure of fishing and hoped to do this again when the opportunity presented itself.
Later, after my wife had cleaned the fish and I told her and Lilly our feats, both informed me they didn’t care for eating trout or cat. Tom said the same while we fished; that he preferred catching fish but not eating them. I ate them by myself.