Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Stockers for Dinner

“Naw whatcha need ta do is git yerself a jar a peeewr bait…git out ta res n catch yerself some them staaawker trouts! Fry em up!”

Snicker snicker hardy har har… We both did our best redneck reservoir fisherman impersonations all the way back home. The snow was coming down sideways across the road in front of us and our pants were soaked and our hands frozen into bright red sclerosis-ish mitts. I was driving, but could not feel the steering wheel.

“Reservoirs full a them stawkers! Yuk yuk…!

The day had begun with fairly noble and complex intentions. We were going to first go check out a local res that was rumored to hold some good-sized northern pike, then shift gears to another spot that we knew would have some feeding carp. I had a Dixie Cup full of a new carp fly tied by a 13-year-old friend of mine. His flies looked like winners and I was eager to give them a try. And the nasty weather reports didn’t scare us none. We both had the day off and were bound and determined to find some sort of fishing adventure…somewhere. But, the wind was roaring hard over 70 miles an hour when we pulled into the parking lot of the “pike-rumored” res… This is gonna suck. “Let’s take a walk up over the burm and see just how bad this is.” And we did. And we could barely stand up against the wind. Whitecaps pounding the rocks and rip rap. Cold spray of water and clouds of dust blowing off the dry dirt path. Yup. Sure gonna suck. Erin rigged up a 5wt with a small Bellyache Minnow streamer for trout (we saw a guy with a spinning rod and a stringer full of stocker rainbows clinging to the rocks) and I strung up a fast action 7wt with a bite leader and big pike fly. And we were off… But the howling wind only brought worse weather. The temperature plummeted and the snow hammered us as we did our best to huck and jive against the ever-worsening elements. A couple hours into the ordeal I was ready to throw in the towel. Admit defeat. Reel in and head for the warmth of the truck. Then Erin hooks a fish. A plump 14 inch stocker trout eats the damn Bellyache. As she prepares to release the fish, I have a wave of inspiration. This is a put-and-take trout fishery. Designed to feed and entertain the nearby townies, and the reason some rouge pike have managed to live high on the hog. Why not keep a couple for dinner? So I found a fist-sized rock and put the trout out of its inbred misery. Whack! Right to the top of the head. Only problem now was we needed another similar-sized trout to round out the meal. And a long, hand and face freezing half hour passed with nary a strike. It was beginning to look as though the plan for dinner was a bit premature…and Erin continually cackled over the howling blizzard, taunting me with underhanded suggestions of what I would be having as she dined on her trout. Oooooh! You could always have potatoes! But I pulled through in the final moments before we both froze to the bank of the reservoir. And a hardy trout dinner was shared!

“Thems good pan-sized trouts ya got thar, mister! Gonna fry ‘em up, naw!”

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