For those who love small streams, wild trout, and life...in their simplest form
Sunday, February 25, 2018
The Stream Along The "Stone Wall"
The stream along the stone wall
Back in the mid seventies I was told about a lovely little roadside picnic area. The area was part of a state forest with a parking area for a couple of cars. The facilities were minimal, out house, a few picnic tables each having a stone fire pit. There were stands of pine and hemlock with a border of mountain laurel, all of this located on a parcel of flat land. Jeanette and I along with my daughter who was 9 or so and my son who was 4 visited this area many times.
I would set up the the little portable charcoal grill, the inexpensive ones you could purchase at K-Mart. The cooler held hot dogs and maybe a 1st cut chuck steak. Some stuff for a salad and of course potato chips. Jeanette would have the kids busy playing badminton, or perhaps looking for flowers. Most times we had the area to ourselves and the kids could really burn up some energy.
Running through the picnic area was a beautiful little stream. It was pretty much free flowing and had open banks. A short stretch had been built up with stone to prevent the bank from erosion. The stream was stocked with trout back then, probably a 100 fish for the year. The first two weeks of the season saw that number pushed back to about 10. The fishing pressure was evident just by looking at the ground. Worm containers, empty hook packages, lost chain stringers. I had just started fly fishing, a convert who still bought a dozen crawlers in case. My fly selection consisted of a few flies from a shop but most were from K-Mart. After lunch the kids would nap and I would head over to the stream and fish. Usually in an hour or so I would catch a couple of trout that survived the opening day onslaught. Those were good days my friends.
Well after all those years I continue to fish that stream. The tables and fire pits are gone, the little bridge that crossed the brook is gone. The wall though is still intact. The stream now is no longer stocked but has wild trout in it, for that I'm thankful.
Earlier this month I paid a visit to the stream. It was up and running strong. It was going to be difficult to slow down the swing of the fly to allow for a trout to take. A few soft spots here and there were the targets. After many casts I was able to get the fly in a sweet spot. The line tightened and I felt weight. The fish was strong and knew how to use the current to his advantage. I managed to subdue him and soon had him at hand.
The years have been primarily good to me and my family, the picnic area with the little stream was a part of our young lives. And on this day it continued to be so.