The Best Day Ever
July 23rd 2016. For those of you who do not remember the date, it was a Saturday. I will never forget this day because it was one of the best days of my life. I will set the scenario for you. Bear with me please cause I am not what you would call a novelist.
My wife works for the post office as a substitute rural carrier, which means she carries the mail every Saturday. This is really good for me and my two kids. Now I don't want to sound like I am thrilled she is gone every Saturday because it has its bad points too, however; my kids and I love the outdoors and her…. not so much. Her idea of enjoying outdoors is canoeing. Im not a fan due to the fact we cant stop and fish, at least when I am with her. The only time you stop whilst canoeing with my wife is to have a few beverages.
The wife was working and my son ditched old dad to go to a friends house and spend the night. He is 11 so he is at the age where friends are way cooler than dad. I was left with my daughter Isabella. I call her Izzy. I asked her what she wanted to do. Without hesitation she says, “ Oh my god dad lets go trout fishing.” At this point I was excited as she was. I don't think I have ever loaded up tackle and a cooler so fast in all my time on this earth.
We head for Bailey’s Ford near Manchester. This is one of our favorite spots to trout fish due to the fact I can get the kids to catch fish fairly easy. After a 25 to 30 minute drive we arrive. We park at the stream beside the nature trail bridge which is usually a honey hole. To my demise there are 4 people fishing and two kids throwing rocks. We grab our gear and head down the stream towards the river.
Between the parking lot and the river we stop at two more holes that are usually productive. They were not productive on this day. I think the fisherman came out in droves there was nothing there and anglers all over the place. I decide to switch gears so we headed back to the truck. On the way back to the truck Izzy asks me what we are going to do. I tell her honey we are going to another place.
We head up to Greeley to Fountain Springs park. Fountain Springs is a diamond in the rough. For those who have never been to this park you should go. All primitive camping very quiet and good trout fishing. A very well kept county park. While driving to get there you really wonder how far back into nowhere the road takes you. The trip is all worth the dust on the truck to get there.
I don't know if the truck was even in park yet when she jumped out of the pick up. We started fishing by the upside down bridge. The water by the upside down bridge is very murky. I am glad it is murky cause my lovely daughter wore a bright pink shirt and some pretty wild colored gymnastics tights. We fish here for about a half hour and no luck.
I am so determined to catch something we move to another hole towards the middle of the park. With the water running dirty I had a feeling we could catch something in this particular hole. It is a narrow strip of swift water with an exposed system of tree roots. It is about three to four feet deep. I have had luck here before. Where the water goes around the tree roots is an area of calm water just outside the main current. I have a silver lead head with a white glittery skirt tied on my ultra light. I showed her how to flip the jig in there and bounce it.
She flips the jig into the exact location I showed her. About 2 feet down I see that silver head disappear and the line go tight. She screams. To an innocent bystander you would think this child is either dying or hurt badly. No everyone she just hooked her first trout. My heart is racing because I know if she looses this fish she is going to be so disappointed. I tell her what to do to get it to the shore. It is a beautiful Rainbow Trout.
I take the hook out of it and she wants to hold it. I let her hold it while I get the stringer ready and realize it’s back at the truck. Now, in my mind I am really praying that this fish does not squirm its way out of her hand and back into the stream from which it came. I move her and the fish back away from the water well into dry land so I could go all the way back to the truck and retrieve the stringer without worries of a sad little girl upon my return.
I place the beautiful fish on the stringer and her and I both start jigging again in the same hole. I managed to get a very nice brown trout after about a half hour and she had a couple hits but missed hooking them. I decide once again to move.
We relocate about 500 feet up stream to a hole right beside the road. Her and I climb out onto some big rocks to get a better vantage point. With the same jigs previously used, we commence to fishing again. Her fifth cast the fight is on once again. I can see it is a nice rainbow hooked very nicely in the top of the mouth. This fish is much bigger than the one she landed before. Somehow through all the screaming and jumping up and down I got through to her how to bring in this one. She drug the fish onto the bank and just before getting it totally out of the water the hook comes out. I jump into the shallows to grab ahold of it and luckily retrieve the escapee. I put him on the stringer and we fished about a half hour longer.
I suggest to my daughter that we leave for home. It is starting to sprinkle off and on and I could tell it is getting cooler. My wife and I had to meet up some friends of ours for The Great Jones County Fair. I had to go back to get ready anyway. Her and I together cleaned the trout and started for home. On the way home she asked how come we had to ruin this day. Feeling really bad I tell her the day isn't ruined we just have to go. Needless to say she didn't want to go home. We hit about Manchester and the rain was pouring down which made it a lot easier to go home. The sky the whole 25 minute drive looked very eerie. Almost a greenish color.
We pull in the drive way of our residence and unload our equipment. Of course she couldn't wait to show mom what she had caught. In the house she goes. in the house channel nine KCRG had tornado warnings and severe thunderstorm warnings all over the Eastern part of the state. A tornado warning for Delaware county had been issued and a video of a twister going down the river to around the lake Delhi area was played. I told Izzy we are lucky that we left cause we were really close to the tornado they played video of. Once she realized we would have been impacted by the storms she was feeling much better about being home.
This was one of the most memorable trips I have had with her. If you are a father of a daughter you all know about Daddy and Daughter dates. This one will be with me forever and I hope one day she can share this with her kids. I’m not a professional writer (as you can probably tell) nor am I a professional fisherman. I just hope that I am teaching both my kids activities they can pass on to their kids as I have. I love taking the kids along and I hope all of you take a kid out hunting, fishing, or hiking in the near future.
Written by: Christopher Taylor