Reflecting on summer fishing memories

Literary Junction
Ray Dale / Public Services Librarian
Thursday, July 5, 2018
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Some of my favorite memories as a kid are those involving my early childhood in Miles City. Among those that stand out the most are the ones of fishing with my dad.

At that time, there was a manmade pond just outside of town we affectionately called the “trout pond.” It was right near the fish hatchery, and they would stock it with trout so people could come and fish for them.

I had a little yellow fishing rod with a steel bait casting reel and I even had a special “fishing shirt” I wore whenever we went there. My dad would cast the rod out with a worm on the hook then hand it to me, and I would sit there and wait for a bite. My dad always told me we had to be quiet or we would scare the fish away, so we didn’t talk much. We just sat there watching the water and the waves, listening to the birds, and soaking up sunshine. It was so very peaceful.

Of course, I was no different from most kids and I would eventually get bored. On one particular day, my brother and I set out from where my dad had set us all up and were looking for something to entertain us. It was right after a rain storm and there were puddles everywhere, so we thought it fun to walk through them and try to find the deepest one. We did this, naturally, when we were out of sight from my dad.

We were having great fun until I stepped into one that was quite a bit deeper than I thought and I went face first into the water, which went way over my head. Somehow, I popped back up to the surface, my brother grabbed my arm and, with his help, I was able to get out. My thoughts went immediately to how I was going to explain to my dad why I was soaked head to toe, but knowing I couldn’t hide it, we both went back to face the music.

When I approached him, my dad made a face that suggested something offensive was approaching. I told him I had fallen into a mud puddle that went over my head, to which he said with a disgusted sound to his voice, “That was no mud puddle, you fell into an outhouse hole.” He told me to walk down the beach about twenty yards and lay in the sun to dry out. I had to stay over there the rest of the afternoon, but he did let me ride in the car on the way home.

If you happen to be interested in trying your hand at doing a little fishing, I would encourage you to do so. And if needs be, we have at the Big Horn County Library several books on fly fishing, bait fishing, fly tying and the like. In addition, we have put up our new display on the ledge that centers on summer fun, including fishing. Come in and check it out. Then take your kids fishing and create your own wonderful memories.