Friday the 13th is unlucky for some, but I spent mine with some fishing with a fellow NEFGA member Jarredb. and a fellow NEFGA/BigBluegill member Teeg S. The Executive Director and founder of Recycled Fish, at Verdigre Creek just North of Royal, Nebraska.
We were there fly fishing for stocked/native rainbow trout, and (to me anyway) elusive, native, naturally occurring brown trout. This was my third trip to this stream, the closest trout stream to me at around 3 hours away. A few fish were caught, and some lessons were learned from Teeg, who is a very accomplished fly fisherman with lots of experience in small stream trout fishing with his time spent in Washington state. I ended the day with six 'bows, all were memerable in their own way, the first of the day was an impressive (to me, and for this water) 12-13" fish that was loads of fun on my 3wt. Two were special to me because Teeg was next to me instructing me on how to fish this small pool, the two I caught were small, but built like footballs, and beautiful coloring, leading me to believe the might be non-stocked fish, and another two, again Teeg "guiding" me where he showed me what to look for in the bend, where to cast, and how to drift it down. You can count on trout being a fun fish to catch when water temps are still low, they still have fight in them!
Wait, this is a site about big bluegills right? Not a trout site! Well, Verdigre Creek feeds Grove Lake, the lake where a 2lb, 13oz beast of a gill was caught over 30 years ago and still stands as the Nebraska state record. No, I didn't catch this monsters great great great grandson or daughter, I didn't even catch a gill.
But it did get me to dreaming of lazy days where I can fish with my very best fishing buddies. Those favorite fishing buddies are my wife Nicole, and my three daughters, Mackenzie (almost 7), Alyssa (5) and Paige (4).
They are no means "fair weather" weather fishers. The have dealt with cooler temps, and have even encountered one of those fast, furious, and cloth soaking thunderstorms that Nebraska is famous for, isn't that right Bruce????
It won't be long before I'm trying to stuff a tackle box, 6 or more fishing rods, a cooler, snacks and jackets into the trunk of a Chevy Cavalier so we can head to one of our favorite fishing ponds. I'm jonesing for these trips like a junky looking for the next hit.
I can't wait to shout "hey! that bobber just went down! Get it girls!!!!" I can't wait to see the smile on one of the girls face as some bull gill swims donuts in the water and stips line off of their ultra lite spin casts. I can't wait to see Paige hunched over the worm container trying to figure out what 'crawler is gunna catch her the fish, 'Lyssa stalking the shore looking for frogs or other bugs. I can't wait! There isn't anything better.
What is really exciting about this year, Kenz has a goal..... It's the same goal as mine. A master angler bluegill. She has it bad, she can blame 3 people for this on the verge of obsession goal. Me, I love gills, favorite fish in the world, OldBaldGuy, who's obsession for big gills is unparelled, and Bruce, who's pictures of big gills always brings a smile to her face bigger than Texas.
Did I mention I can't wait? Warmer days are around the corner, gills will be biting and swimming circles, and the girls will be smiling as some fish puts the drag to the test.
So I raise a toast to warm days, big smiles, and everyone who takes a kid fishing!