September 1, 2020
The rains let up over the weekend, so I decided it was time to go fishing. I have mentioned the new sow bugs had arrived and I was eager to get one into the water. When I arrived at the lake, I saw the vegetation had grown up around the shore. While there were holes in the water cover, there was no way to drag a wooly and a dropper through the thick growth. I have both a mouse and a frog fly that I have used on occasion and I thought one of these might be perfect. I went back to the truck to tie on my fly.
We are planning our first trip since the pandemic arrived in February for later this month. We have secured an Airbnb and booked a morning with a local guide on the Little Red River. This is one of the premier Brown Trout streams in the nation, including the world record (40# 4 oz). I took an afternoon last week to get all my fishing tackle arranged. This included re-matching reels with poles and oiling and putting new line on one of the reels that had become difficult to cast. I do this periodically but was surprised to find how many flies and hooks had been purchased that were stored in odd places. They are now arranged by type so I can grab what I need and not worry about hauling the excess. My mouse was in another bag.
I tied on a popper and fished for thirty minutes without a bite (and losing my popper). I moved to a spot where there was a break in the cover and threw out my cat pole and put a worm on my newly strung bobber line. I was pleased to see how well the reel now worked. I caught a small bluegill and tossed it back in. I quickly caught another and decided to bait it up on my Carolina rig. I was going to get a bass one way or another. As I tossed this line out a truck pulled up beside me. It was the Game and Fish officer. When I gave him my license, he told me he had never seen a license like this but did not think it was for fishing. He called my name into the dispatcher and they told him what it was. I had purchased an annual 65+ license, and not the lifetime permit. As he returned the license, he suggested I could save money if I got the lifetime license instead. Btw: this is a different fish.
THOUGHTS: I was concerned when I was told my license was not valid. I had delayed fishing on two different occasions when I had gone to a lake and realized my license was expired. I purchased my new license online and carried it with me. Great, I thought. After all that I am going to get a citation. I try to be overly conscientious when it comes to obeying the law. I wear my seat belt, only drive four miles over the speed limit (on cruise control), do not use my cell phone (unless hands free), and I do not fish without a license. I do this so I do not get in trouble, but also because I realize doing so is for the good of other people, even if not for me. It is the same reason I wear a mask. Change is coming and it starts with you.