January Fishing

by Bill Wofford

As usual during the cool gray days of January, after the Christmas decorations have been taken down, the honey do's have been taken care of, errands run, hair cut, etc, etc, the day would lend itself to a side trip to the river. The wind was not favorable, a consistent southeaster of 5 to 10mph, hitting square on in the face. Not a real good position to be in when flinging a small caddis fly, the fly would usually land5 to 10 feet downwind from where you wanted it to go. Trying to compensate for the windage sometime made matters worse by landing in a tree rather than upon the waters. However, when the opportunity presents itself one must take advantage of it.

You could see the perch holding about two feet under water and they would not rise to take this delectable caddis fly, so after several attempts and with no success, I switched patterns. Pulling out a bead head nymph and allowing it to sink, which was difficult to do considering the current of the San Marcos River at the time. Just about the time it hit bottom, a long eared sunfish decided dinner was ready and inhaled it. Now my fun was just beginning.

Across the walkway to the small island near Pavilion A was a family of three and the cutest little girl about four years of age really testing her parents about just how far she could venture before being called back. I walked the fish over to their side and ask if it would be OK if I let her bring it in. Her mom said yes. I handed the rod to the little girl to hold with both hands and began to strip the line in, when the fish surfaced there was a loud shrill exclamation of excitement. Her first ever, real live fish. She touched it, admired it, and was saddened when we let it go, but she was OK when we told her that it had to return to its 'mommy'. Yes there were pictures made and I am sure that in years to come she will remember some old guy fishing that let her pull in her first fish.

They left and I continued fishing catching several perch but none as significant as the first one when a little girl made some memories of her own. Take advantage of every situation to fish, you never know what delights are around the corner or even with the next cast.

Note: This article first appeared in our January 2005 newsletter.

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