I’ve got one more bass fishing trip in store before I turn into a deer hunter. My friends love hunting season because they now have the lake to themselves. They will enjoy some of the best fishing of the year when the weather turns a little colder. As for me, I’ll trade a bent rod for a bent bow. But it’s not always been this way. My early adult years were spent almost exclusively fishing. I threw a plastic worm in the spring and summer, and a Rat-l-Trap and Rooster Tail in the fall and winter. Back then there was only one kind of reel; a Mitchell 300. Other than replacing an occasional bail spring, they never went bad and were one of the best reels ever made. I truly feel blessed to have grown up as I did. I remember when the gravel road in front of our house was paved and I remember my first computer; a Commodore 64. I have adapted.
Many things have changed. The houses that were new back then are now run down and fragile. The mom-and-pop store where I used to set on the front porch is now condemned. The woods that once gave us boys a place to play and hunt are now subdivisions. Many of my fishing mentors have passed on. They are simply fishing on the other side of the lake. They may have a new boat now but I’m sure it’s still made of aluminum and it probably has a 25 horsepower Johnson on it. They were never the big boat type. Back then a boat was a tool not a status symbol. And the truck that hauled it was held together with Bondo. “Catch and fillet” was our motto, not “catch and release.”
I hope that you’re remembering those same days right now. I hope that your thoughts are carrying you back to your days of Mitchell reels and fiberglass rods. But most of all I hope that you’re thinking of those who chiseled out the outdoorsman that you are now. They caused you to love what you do and how you do it. They led you without even knowing it by calling you on their rotary dial phone and asking a simple question; “You wanna go fishin’.”