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My Favorite Fish Story

The Story of the 3rd Annual, Men Only,
RV Fishing Trip

It was the final night of the 3rd Annual Men Only RV Fishing Trip.  Seven fish had been caught, with awards presented in the following categories:

FIRST FISH.......................... Dad
MOST FISH.......................... Pop-pop (4 of the 7 fish caught)
BIGGEST FISH...................... Andy (*)

The "biggest fish" category came with an asterisk because the fish was not actually landed.  Andy had it on the line, and we saw it jump, (it was big a big one), but it got off the hook before Andy could reel him in.  Unfortunately, that left Andy without an actual fish.

So on the last night back at camp, Pop-pop said, "Tomorrow morning, Dad is to take Andy out for one more try while Kevin and I pack up the camper."  Morning came.  We all enjoyed breakfast together, and then Andy and I went off with worms, minnows, and high hopes.  I would not be doing any fishing that morning.  I was only there to support Andy.

Andy started fishing at 8:30 AM.  9:30 came and went, 10:00, 10:30, and 11:00...  I had expected to be back at the campground by 11:00.  

Andy had many bites during that time, and he had more than one fish on the line for a short struggle.  But still he had not landed a fish.  Andy really wanted to keep at it, and so we did.  Eventually 11:30 arrived and I had to cut him off.  We had one minnow left (most of Andy's hits had been on minnows) and so I said, "Sorry Andy, but I can give you five more casts and then we have to go."  Andy had been a great sport all weekend, never wanting to give up, but at the same time knowing when it was time to go, so he said “OK”.  Together we counted down the last 5 casts.

5 more casts…
4 more casts…
3 more…
2 more…  

"Last one big guy.  Make the most of it."   Andy tossed the minnow into the river.  Perfect placement.  Really... I mean, perfect.  There was a seam where the fast and the slow moving water met where most of the action occurred, and Andy nailed it.  Within a few seconds, the tip of Andy's rod twitched.  The hair on both of our necks stood up.  Then again; bump... bump-bump.  Andy called out, "I GOT A FISH!!!” and from there we both went nuts. 

"You got a fish!"
"I got a fish!"
"Bring him in!  Keep him tight!  Not too tight"
"I got a fish!!!"

Andy got the fish pretty close to shore, almost up to the bank.  As he got close, I took stab at the fish with the net.
A few words on netting fish:  When you net a fish, it is best to do it from the head of the fish, not from the rear.  This is because once the fish sees a net (or anything else) coming at him, he is going to run.  Trying to catch him from behind is like chasing a bowling ball that is rolling down a hill.  Worse yet, this is the most likely time to lose a fish.  Tension can come off of the line and the stream bed comes into play, all giving the chance for the fish to get "bumped" off of the hook.
I approached Andy's fish from behind.  Ut-oh...
With that, the fish took off like a bolt.  But where?!?!  I said, "Oh, poo.", (but I didn't say "poo").  I called out to Andy, "WHERE IS HE??!'  Andy replied, "RIGHT HERE, BY MY FEET!!!"  And with that I converted the net into a tennis racket and launched that fish 10 feet up the bank.  The job was done.  Andy had caught his fish.
ANDY CAUGHT A FISH!!!!  And a beauty it was.  A brown trout with a fat belly.  Andy declared, "I am eating this fish tonight!"  We proceeded to hoot, holler, hoot some more, hug, high five, and basically go nuts for a few minutes.  If anyone had been around they would think that we had caught the Loch Ness Monster.  Upon further examination, the fish had a fresh hook, line, swivel clamp, AND FRESH WORM stuck in his lip (in addition to the hook and minnow that Andy had just caught him with).  Andy had caught this same fish earlier in the morning, but it dove behind a rock and broke the line off.  It was destiny!
We rolled back into camp at 12:00 noon singing, "We are the champions, my friends.  And we’ll keep on fighting till the end!"  Pop-pop and Kevin had done a great job packing up the camper (thank you Pop-pop and Kev!).  Andy had a fish, and the weekend was now perfect.  There was nothing else to want.  I can honestly say, I was more excited and shaken by Andy catching that one fish than any other fish I can recall.  Great job Andy!
And that is how we ended the Third Annual Men Only RV Fishing Trip.  We can hardly wait for next year! 

ps. It is worth noting that people sometimes ask me why I am such an avid fisherman. While I can’t explain it exactly, I do know one thing.  It has very little to do with the fish.