A fellow blogger had posted on his facebook page that he had been feeling a little nostalgic for brook and stream fishing. And I have to admit, his idea sounded pretty good!
I hadn’t gotten much ice fishing in this past season because of crappy conditions at my favorite fishing hole. I used to fish a lot of roadside streams as a kid, and there is a culvert a half mile or so from my house I have always wanted to try.
I figured now was the time to do it! In a couple weeks or so, we will be fighting swarms of black flies, and the roadsides will be carpeted with poison ivy.
So I went out in the yard, and found some worms, and trotted my less than lean behind up the road a piece towards the culvert.
Before I got there, I recalled another culvert. This particular one was much smaller, but I knew it flowed directly, via an indirect route from a beaver pond. It was also not so far down the embankment, meaning there was less risk for me to lose my footing , and go rolling down the rocky hill!
I was using an ice fishing rod and reel. Short rod, lightweight reel, heavy line. I figure this sort of thing must be PERFECT for fishing culverts!
I got a nice fat, but short worm, and baited my hook. I tossed the line as close to a submerged log as I could get, and watched the line leap off the reel in a HUGE mess of tangled monofilament.
By the grace of God, I managed to clear the mess without cutting the line, and reeled my line up for a second attempt. The second time I tossed my line out it just plopped in front of me into the swift water about 8 feet below me.
Meanwhile about 30 feet of line played out of the spool, and waved in the breeze. Somehow I managed to get the line back on the reel without tangling it, and tried a third cast.
That one was a little better, but I was still about 4 feet from the slack water near the log. Any fish wanting to get at my worm would likely have to be much bigger than the fish I expected to find in this drainage stream, so I reeled the line up for another try.
The fourth cast was the one I had been waiting for! It was the kind of cast I knew would happen if I had the patience, and faith of my younger days! In that one cast memories of hundreds of similar trips flooded over me like a wave!
I had somehow managed to make a cast with a short rod, and a tiny sinker, that would make a bass fisherman proud!
The sinker sailed over the log at just under 436 MPH with the hook and worm spiraling madly behind it, on its foot and a half of heavy monofilament line.
About 3 feet behind the log was a low hanging pine branch, and the weight landed softly on the pillow like bow.
The line with the hook and worm continued on until it met with a maple branch to trapeze itself on.
The heavy line meant I would destroy the light weight rod and reel long before the line would break, so I jerked the little pole this way, then that way, and up, then down.
Finally the little maple twig gave up the fight and snapped off. I had my hook and bait back, along with a nice length of marshmallow stick for my son to use at our next cook out!
Thankfully, I lost my weight, and didn’t have another one with me. So I dumped the worms into the stream and headed home before the bank could give way, and toss me into the cold water!
Looks like I am STILL the Unluckiest Fisherman In The World!