Friday, June 19, 2009


Dad ("In the water")

Sheldon fishing the Rockies & Darlene

Jeremiah fishing the Rockies
(in the rain)

Fishing is not one of my priorities in life. My dad was not a fisherman when we were growing up at home. It was always "we don't have time to go fishing now". I don't mean that we never went fishing, just that we didn't ever plan a fishing trip just for fun. When dad got older in life he started going fishing. We always kidded him the reason was that he got old enough he didn't have to buy a license. He became a great fishermen. He fished the creeks, pasture ponds, and rivers around home. One time he came home with two big cat fish and some one asked him where he caught them. His answer--"IN THE WATER". He never would tell where his favorite fishing holes were.

Sometimes in the evening we kids would go fishing on Pipe Creek which is just north of our house. We would find a willow tree and cut a five foot limb off of it because they made the best poles. Then we would tie a 6 to 8 foot string with a large hook on it to the willow limb, and then tie a nut off of a bolt for the sinker. If we needed a bobber we would take a small stick and tie it a foot above the sinker. We fished mainly for bullheads and sunfish. For fish bait we would dig worms and catch grasshoppers as we walked to the old wooden bridge where we fished often. To fish for sunfish we would have to go a mile and half south of home. There was a pasture pond called the Mill Pond. It had a large spring that ran into it and so it was always clear and clean and sunfish like that kind of water. Another place to catch sunfish was Lindsay Creek which is about 5 miles south of us. We had an uncle that lived close to it so whenever we visited our cousins we would go fishing there. There was a large family that lived near that creek, so sometimes as we were walking back to our uncle's place we would stop and visit them. One day we stopped and went inside the house and instead of having chairs around the table, they had 10 gallon cream cans that they used for chairs. They were heavy and I wondered what was in them, so I took the lid off and to my surprise they were full of whiskey bottles! He was a bootlegger and that is where he hid his whiskey.

One Sunday afternoon, the whole family went fishing at the creek north of home and it was really hot and steamy. About 4 o'clock, dad said we better go home because there was a real dark cloud coming from the west. Just as we got home, we saw a tornado touch the ground just one mile north of us. One of our neighbors lived in the path and he had just bought a new 1941 Chevy car. He didn't have a cave to get in so he and his wife drove to another neighbors just east of them that had a cave. The tornado completely destroyed the house and outbuildings and also his new car that sat in the neighbor's yard. His own house and property was left undamaged.

Another way we would fish was to make a trap and place it in ponds. We also made some trot lines with several hooks on them and laid them across the creek. We would leave them there and go check them the next day. When we would have a flood that raised the creeks, we would go gig carp because they would come up into the backwaters of the ravines. They were easy to spot because they do not like the dirty water at the bottom of the water and we would get several of them. We would clean them and mom would pressure cook them and they would be just like salmon.

Dad would always tell us to be quiet or we would scare the fish off, but one neighbor would always whistle and sing and still catch a lot of fish.

The neighbors built a pond in a old creek bed that was partly on out place and another farmer's place. The other neighbor was a good fisherman and he would always stock this pond. Once a year he would invite all the neighbors around to come and fish that day and in the evening he would use his homemade fryer to cook up the days catch for a fish fry to be enjoyed by all who came. There were several people from all directions there to enjoy the fun.

Things have changed since we were kids. The creek just had bullheads and some sunfish, but over the years, beavers started coming from the river and building beaver dams in our creeks.
This made large pools of water and allowed channel cats to come up from the river into the creek. So nowadays there are a lot of channel cats in the creeks that weren't there before.

One of the big attractions was the red steel creek bridge west of our house. People would come to fish off of that bridge and they still do today.

(Council Bluffs--we would like to know what your interest is in our blog. If you would comment we would appreciate it. Thank you.)

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