Thursday, June 11, 2009

Fishing with Grandma and Tim

Each summer, when we were kids, my brothers and I were sent away to spend two weeks with Grandma. I’m not sure if this was Grandma’s idea, or Mom’s.

One of the many rituals that we enjoyed each year was going to a creek, a place called Siever Springs, to do some trout fishing. I don’t recall that I ever caught a trout at Siever’s, but Grandma almost never got skunked, as she called coming home empty handed.

I tried to catch what should have been easy prey in this stocked stream, but I never had what fishermen call luck. Ti improve my odds, I would watch Grandma carefully, trying to copy whatever she did. She would pull out some extra line for a long cast upstream, and would land her baited hook with precise accuracy. I would pull out that same length of line, and spend the next 20 minutes untangling it.

Sometimes, Grandma would catch a chub, and she would come as near as I ever heard her come to cursing when she would say, “Nuts!" I caught chubs all the time. I was a chub-fishing pro. If catching chubs had been a good thing, I would have had my own televised fishing show.

One day, I was catching so many chubs that I stopped reeling them in. I would just whip the tip of my pole up and over my head, snapping the line out of the water and slinging the unfortunate chub in an overhead arc before slamming it to the ground of the pasture from which we fished. "Nuts," I would mimic, before unhooking the stunned fish.

Sometimes, Grandma would invite one of our cousins who lived there in town. I liked them all, but for fishing, Tim was the best. Tim would also try to emulate Grandma’s actions in hope of enjoying success similar to hers. Trouble was, Tim would try to do this while standing right next to her. When Grandma dropped her line next to a rock snag, Tim would drop his in the same place. When Grandma’s line came out of the water, so did Tim’s. When Grandma would eventually shoo him away… Tim would fall in the creek.

Tim was great at falling in the creek. If Tim was walking along the creek, and there was a tree near the creek's edge, he always chose to pass between the tree and the creek… and fall in. One time, I had been fishing from my seat on a large log that was several feet from the creek. I got up to try another spot and Tim came over to fish from the log. As soon as he sat down, the log and Tim both rolled into the creek. I loved fishing with Tim!

I don’t fish much anymore. When I do fish, and the fish aren’t biting, and it’s hot, and the day is growing long, and the effort seems pointless—I remember fishing with Grandma, and wish Tim were along to provide a little entertainment.

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