How did your fishing go this year?
I have been fishing with my son Matt when the weather and his work schedule allows. We usually go to Tomahawk Pond. We have caught trout, bass, crappie and perch during our outings. Of course, stopping for a hearty breakfast at Town & Country is a great way to start the day.
Last fall I managed to catch a yellow perch and a bass on Lake Laura while fishing with Mike. And at the free fishing day in WVA we caught a few small bass and crappie on Kimsey Run Lake.
As for trout, it took a while for things to get going. In early spring water levels were low so the trout couldn’t scatter out of their stocking holes. And either they didn’t put very many trout in the streams, or they were caught out before I got there. But to be fair, in order to have the river to myself, I usually fish a few days after they stock to avoid the “crowd”.
Later on the fishing was better. It seemed that more trout were stocked and spring storms flooded the river which scattered the trout through the riffles and made for better fishing. At least for me. On one outing there were lots of trout scattered throughout the stream. I caught a few but it was tough to get the rest to bite. Trout fishing was definitely better toward the end of the stocking season.
Even with the slow start, I did have a memorable experience during one of my early trout fishing excursions. I had walked in to one of my favorite fishing holes and was a little disappointed when I didn’t get a bite. As I was standing on the stream bank repositioning the worm on my hook, I noticed movement out of the corner of my eye. It was a mink! Directly across the creek, not 15 ft away! It looked right at me, shook out it’s wet thick fur and with no apparent fear continued its trek along the edge of the stream. It’s amazing how effortlessly it moved in the water around the rocks and limbs in its path.
A good number of years ago I had the unexpected experience of seeing my first mink. It occurred while bow hunting in the upper end of Slate Lick Hollow. I walked down the old road in the main hollow to a field where I had found deer activity and decided to put my stand in a tree beside Slate Lick Run.
I used my old Baker climbing tree stand to shinny about 20 ft up the tree and got as comfortable as possible on the tiny platform. I attached myself to the tree with a safety belt but I doubt that any safety inspector would be impressed with the arrangement. In the event of an accident, dangling in the air is better than a 20 ft fall, but it would take an acrobat to get the belt loose and slide down to the ground without being cut in half or falling on your head. I’ve always found it best not to dwell on such things!
All was quiet for a while after getting settled in my stand when I noticed movement downstream in the creek. It was an animal but not like the other critters I had been watching. It was small and black and moving up the middle of the stream. As it got closer, I was amazed at how it moved like a snake through the shallow pools and around and under rocks and debris in the stream. It didn’t seem that anything living in the stream could get away if it were discovered. I finally decided it had to be a mink, even though I had never seen one before in the wild. At that time, I didn’t even know a mink’s range included the mountains in this area.
It used to bother me if I didn’t catch any fish, but not so much anymore. There are always interesting things to see if we just take the time to notice.
Graduate of Bergton Elementary (Class of ’65)