Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Entertainment

January 9, 2014

We plant 'em, you poach 'em--tales of stocking trout and those chasing them

It’s the perfect time of the year to dream about the coming soft springtime days, flowers blooming, birds singing and enjoying past fishing and other outdoor adventures.

Sure, right now we’re up to our knees in snow, but just remember: Eskimos have to fish around ice floes all year long.

For a number of years, my son and I have traveled to Tennessee to harass the trout in the streams of the Smokey Mountains. These expeditions seldom result in creels full of fish, but we enjoy the scenery, the solitude, keeping an eye peeled for fish-loving black bears, and most of all, each other’s company.

Nothing beats donning waders on a balmy day and plunging into an ice cold stream of water traveling 50 miles per hour while trying to walk on what seem like grease covered boulders. About once every five years we get lucky and arrive just at the time when the little rascals are starting to gorge for the coming winter and enjoy the action of catching and releasing a number of fish.

As usual, we load what seems like five tons of gear and head south with hopes of snagging the “big one.” After a few days of sharing a tent with various species of multi-legged critters and other crawling things, living on fried onions and potatoes and wading in ice water, just like addicts, we’ve had our fix for the year. The trip home is occupied with recounts of the trip with only moderate truth stretching. Since we normally fish within sight of each other for safety’s sake, we’re still far enough apart to stretch a fish that wouldn’t fill a Popsicle stick to 10 or 12 inches without being disputed.

As I always say, “it ain’t the ketchin’ that counts, it’s the tryin’ and lyin’.” Few fishermen would dispute the fact that the Midwest isn’t known for its trout fishing. In fact, for years I considered all trout fishermen to have laced on their collars and be named Chauncy or Fauntleroy.

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