Adventures in sportsmanship

7:33 AM

On Saturday, I went fishing with my Dad, my cousin, and her young son. Now, normally, I'm not a great outdoorsy person. I've been camping and hiking and fishing and I like it all fine, but I'm very fair and me and the sun tend not to go too well together. So, outdoorsy experiences often end for me with a painful sunburn. Which could be partially alleviated were I to remember to apply sunscreen liberally and often, but please--how much do you really think of that whilst baiting hooks?

Anyway, my cousin's son is about four. I think. It's hard to remember, particularly because he keeps giving himself birthday parties. We have newly christened him "Backwoods" due to his prowess in the great outdoors. The four of us drove from the Seacoast up to Lake Winnepesauke. Dad navigated to Long Island, which is an area up on the north end of the lake where he would take my sister and I fishing when we were small. You drop your line off of a bridge and hope for the best. Unfortunately, the lake has become much more crowded in the many years since I was Backwoods' age, and it's harder to fish from the bridge due to all the boat traffic. Fortunately, it was a nice day and everyone was in a good mood (boaters and fishermen alike).

Naturally, Backwoods caught the first fish:

Backwoods & Bass

And the second.

Backwoods w/baby fish

(We decided to let nature live with the second one. It was teeny. The first one, though, was eatin' size, so that came home with us.)

My luck was not so good. But I was outside with Dad, my cousin and Backwoods, so it was all good. We were fishing with worms (Backwoods brought some of his own from his garden, and we picked up some absolutely ginormous night crawlers) and with hellgrammites. I baited hooks and helped Backwoods cast out. Eventually, I got one.

Saisquoi & Bass

I think it might have been the same fish we let live earlier. We chose to follow the same path this time around. So back it went into the lake.

Backwoods was getting a little tired, so we packed it in and drove back towards home. We were hungry, so we stopped at the Happy Pig for barbecue.

Happy Pig

The Happy Pig is actually called the Yankee Smokehouse. We knew we were in for some good times when the waitress brought these around:


The food was excellent. Some of the best barbecue I've had up in New England. You don't get any pictures of it because I was too busy eating. Here--let me distract you with a picture of Backwoods and his coloring:

Backwoods w/Artwork

Once we finished lunch, we got back on the road towards home. We had passed a "secret fishing place" on the way up that Dad had always wanted to try. So we stopped. It was a hatchery with a pay-to-fish pond on site. Sometimes, paying to fish is prohibitively expensive. Dad and I fly fish at a place about 20 minutes away from us where the guy charges $25 per day to fish, not including the cost of anything you catch to keep. (We don't keep anything). This place, on the other hand, was $3.50/fish. The guy out by the pond would supply the rod, the bait, and a bucket for the fish--if you could catch any.

Secret Fishing Hole w/Trout

Turns out that wasn't a problem.

Hook Removal

$3.50/fish for 12-inch rainbow trout is not a bad deal. In fact, we paid less for the fish we brought home than we would have paid for the same amount of fish at the grocery store. Plus, we got to rip worms in half and reel them in and pull out hooks and stuff. I think Dad's going to take Backwoods back next Sunday to catch family dinner. It's totally worth the trip--which we now bill at "10 minutes of hot and heavy fishing."

We looked at the baby fish on the way out (sorry--they're hard to see in the photo).

Baby Trout

And then we headed for home.

Fishing is hard work.

Backwoods Out

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