With my career and guide business, it is difficult to maintain any sort of tradition like going out and fishing on Opening Day. For many, many years, before kids, I actually avoided this day on public water(s) since I fish all year long. However, the past few years, I’ve tried to create a tradition with my children to take them out on Opening Day. I still only take them to a private club that I belong to. This year only my son wanted to come.
The overnight and early morning was cold, one of the coldest Opening Days in recent memory that I remember or noted in a journal. It also didn’t help that it was windy, too, so wind chill was a factor. Added to this was our recent heavy rains. All of this came together to be a rough first day of fishing for the 2017 season. Our brook was swollen and our pond was brown.
I chose to fish the pond, mostly to avoid the complexities of a high and hard flowing brook, not to mention the safety factor too.
My son still likes to use his own spin gear and I let him, but I also bring my fly gear, too, in case he would like to try that as well- he usually does. So, he started off using worms and bobber on own pond.
No luck…we didn’t feel bad because not many other members were fairing any better even using shiners or power bait.
Being a young boy with limited attention span, I didn’t think he would hold out for a long as he did. I think playing with the worms was more stimulating much of the morning- getting muddy too ! Anyway, parents would know what I was talking about when I mention that he was looking for Herman the Worm…hahaha…for those that don’t it’s an educational song and when it gets stuck in your head…
He slugged away using his spinning rod but, still no dice….
I try and teach him that it’s about the experience and time together rather than numbers of fish, etc. However, you still need to have them catch a few fish no matter what it is. I rigged up my fly rod and put on a pair of eggs.
Eggs work in even still water if your working over stocked fish and if it’s a trout pond and its spawning time. I made a tuck cast for him, got the patterns to the bottom and gradually raised the patterns off the bottom and let them settle again. I repeated that several times before making another cast. Eventually, I hooked a white sucker in the corner of the lip ( you know your on the bottom when your hooking suckers in the mouth ). I handed him the rod and let him fight it out….
What did he want to do after landing it ? You guessed it… kiss a sucker ! I just stood there shaking my head….that’s a little boy for ya !
He moved to a different spot in the pond where a piece of land jets out to deeper water and where the main channel and current to the pond is. I made cast for him since we were around overhanging tree limbs- I didn’t want my rod tip broken by accident even though it was an ADG rod that he is used to casting and pretty damn near indestructible in terms of fishing it. I had only one rod tip break since 2003 and I fish HARD ! Plus, Jacob uses it and a number of clients have use it, too.
He did what I showed him with the sucker and …VOILA….
A 17 1/2 inch brown…yah !
Now there is a smile of a happy boy that caught a good size brown under tough conditions ! Opening Day saved ! He didn’t get the numbers of fish that he wanted but made up for it with the size of this fish. So we kept him for our Opening Day catch.
After a few more hours, he got too cold and too tired to continue so we headed home with our Opening Day catch, hungry for a feast…
Chip and dip, cheese and crackers, strawberries and cream, shrimp, filet mignon and of course our brown trout….stuffed & happy !