Grandpa and Joshua

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This month’s article is about a fishing trip with my son and my two grand children, Joshua and Aiden Hudon. They live in Pennsylvania.

It’s a story about a young boy fishing and sharing his experience  with all of us. We always say, “Take a Kid Fishing” and make a memory. What we don’t say is, it makes for a memory for us too!

Joshua was only 11 years old when this story happened. As you read the article, notice how he paid attention to detail. It shows his time spent on his fishing trip was so important to him, that he had to write about it for a class project. Today, Josh is 20 years old. He came to NC in May with a fellow college roommate. We fished the Tuckaseegee in Jackson County. They both caught trophy rainbows!! Another MEMORY.

My Famous Fishing Trip

Today was the day to go fishing with my grandpa. I had been waiting all year to go fish with him. I go fishing every summer in West Palm Beach, Florida.

We had to wake up early for the fishing trip. It took a long time to wake up my brother Aiden. My brother Aiden, grandpa, dad, and I got dressed, ate breakfast, and brushed our teeth. Before we could leave, we packed the fishing gear into the car. My grandpa said “Are you ready to fish?” Aiden and I said “Yes!” Now it was time to go!

It took us fifty minutes to drive to the Bass Pro Shop where we met the captain of the fishing boat. The captain drove us in his car with the boat hitched on the back. It took forty minutes to arrive in Dade County where we would fish on canal number twenty. I was very excited to go fishing!

The captain backed up the car so the boat would slide into the water. My grandpa, Aiden dad and I left the car and stood on the dock. We watched the boat trailer move into the clear blue water until the boat floated. The captain got out of the truck and walked back to the fishing boat. He grabbed a rope from the boat and tied it to a pole on the dock. Then we unloaded our fishing gear from the captain’s trunk and put it on the boat. Finally, we could go fishing.

Peacock BassWe drove the boat around the canal to find a fishing spot. Then we started to fish. I put fake bait on the fishing hook and cast my line into the water. After about two minutes, I felt a tug on the fishing line. My dad helped me reel in a medium sized peacock bass because I asked him to help me. First, we took a picture of me with the fish Then, I threw it back into the water. My grandpa helped Aiden catch a sheep head. My dad took a picture of Aiden with the fish and then he threw it back into the water.

Next, we drove to a different fishing spot. While we were under a bridge, I saw a big fish swimming near the shore. I was thinking that I wanted to catch that big fish. I had to put the live minnow on the hook before I could cast the line into the water. I stood at the front of the boat and I quickly cast the line into the water. The fish saw the minnow and it bit the minnow’s tail and then the head of the minnow where the hook was. The fish started to swim left to right trying to get away. I reeled in the line and pulled the fish out of the water and on to the boat. The fish was 22 inches long and looked like a catfish. It was flopping around on the deck of the boat.

Big Mouth SleeperThe captain said “That’s a Big Mouth Sleeper!” I said “What’s a Big Mouth Sleeper?” He said “It’s a really rare fish and only grownups ever caught them.” I felt like I could catch anything. I was the first kid so far to catch a Big Mouth Sleeper. I felt famous. The captain took the Big Mouth Sleeper off of my fishing hook and put it on a bigger hook. My grandpa took a picture of me holding the Big Mouth Sleeper with Aiden and my dad. I threw the fish back into the water.

After fishing, we drove back home to West Palm Beach to see my mom and grandma. I was so proud that I caught the Big Mouth Sleeper.

After a couple of days, my family and I flew back home to Pennsylvania. The next week, I received a newspaper article from my grandpa. On the front cover there was a picture of my brother Aiden, my dad, and me holding the Big Mouth Sleeper. I read the article about me catching the Big Mouth Sleeper and then I called my grandpa to thank him for sending it to me. My mom and dad were so proud that I was on the front cover of the newspaper.

I was happy that I spent time fishing with my grandpa. I will go fishing again next summer. I wonder if the next fishing trip will have a twist like this one.


About the Author

Joshua Hudon
Attends: Upper Providence Elementary School, Royersford, Pennsylvania
Reside in: Collegeville, Pennsylvania

When asked why he chose to write about his famous fishing trip, Joshua said “I love to go fishing every year with my grandpa. I’m proud of myself to be the first kid so far to catch a Big Mouth Sleeper. I felt like I could catch anything.”

In addition to attending Upper Providence Elementary School, Joshua enjoys playing soccer, going fishing, watching TV, and playing DS games.

In the future, Joshua plans to be a professional soccer player or a police officer.

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The definition is an emergency word used internationally as a distress signal. I think we all knew that, but did you ever need to use it?

This story starts out in December, 2002. It was only three months after my wife and I came back from one of my favorite places, ever. Almont, Colorado. You see, we go there once a year in September for my birthday, and fish the Taylor and Gunnison Rivers. In December of 2002, I had a blockage in my heart, in the lower left artery.

Just before surgery, I said to the surgeon, “If I come out of this in one piece, I’m going to Colorado in May, then again in September. Well, I turned out OK and Dottie, my wife, and I headed off to Colorado. Everyone was worried about me, so to make them know that I was playing it safe, I would take some walkie-talkies with me. First day, we tested them out. “Hi Dot, can you hear me? 10-4.” “Yes, how do you feel? 10-4.” “I feel good, going fishing. 10-4.”

I checked into the office to let them know I was leaving a walkie-talkie with them in case I needed help. We know the owners very well, and the people in the office. Nice people. So I went down to the river to find a spot that I can fish without taking any chances. After a while, I got a little braver, moving around as if nothing ever happened to me. Then, while hoping from rock to rock, I fell, lost my breath, and hurt myself. (what a dumb move) Gaining consciousness, I grabbed my walkie-talkie and called out the infamous words. “Mayday! Mayday!” No answer. “Mayday! Mayday!” Still no answer. I laid there dazed thinking can’t they hear me?

“Mayday! Mayday!” Finally I got an answer. “ED WE’RE BUSY SERVING LUNCH, QUIT FOOLING AROUND.” “I’m not fooling around, I’m down river and need help.”

“YOU’RE SUCH A KIDDER.” Twenty minutes later, I regrouped, picked myself up and started walking back to the office. Once I got there, I saw the owner, Steve. He said, “ED, YOU KNOW BETTER THAN TO PULL THAT STUNT, ESPECIALLY DURING LUNCH. IT’S BUSY AS HELL.” I just looked at him and said, “I apologize Steve. Your’re right. I should know better, but I almost got you!” I had lunch, went back to my cabin to meet my wife. She said, “Well, how did you do?” I said, “I think these walkie-talkies are a waste of time. I had trouble trying to get you. Must have been out of range. Dottie said, “That’s OK honey. At least it’s a beautiful MAY DAY…

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The ANGLER magazinePublished in the January 2017 issue of Western North Carolina Edition of The ANGLER magazine

It’s January, Happy New Year! I hope the holidays were good to you. The beginning of the year gives most of us a chance to organize the fly box, add some new equipment to the arsenal, and get excited for the new year to come. All this preparation is great, but one of the most important things you need to do when either dry fly fishing or nymphing, is to be sure you have a good mend and are drag free. What is the MEND: “The act of moving your fly line during the drift, to create a specific presentation on the fly.”

While there are many different types of mending, I would like to discuss implementing a good drift, to my first time fly fishing clients.

Most of the people I talk to that have never fly fished before, always say to me, “Isn’t that hard to do? I think I would wrap the line around my body while trying to cast the line.” While they are telling me how hard they think it is, they always bring their arm back and forth in a motion that looks like 3-4 false casts. When I explain that there is an application for that type of casting, however, what we would do is a more simple approach. For all my first time fly fishing clients, I like to introduce them to nymph fishing.

I begin by explaining what we are trying to achieve, when casting the line a little up stream, letting the current take the line and indicator down stream. Once the line is in front of them, I explain that the flies we are using are just about to reach the bottom, and we don’t want to disturb the indicator or flies. This is where we need to mend the line up stream and get a good drift. Without it, chances of catching a fish are minimal. At first, they cast and try mending, most time to soon, or they move the flies and indicator. After a few failed attempts, they always say, “Here, show me.” So I proceed to explain what I am doing while I go through the motions. About 75% of the time, I catch a fish. Now they are believers. Because they are new to the sport, they never follow a routine. Here is what I have been successful doing:

I tell them to just keep it simple and repeat a drag free drift. CAST, follow your line, throw a MEND, another mend, Kick out some line, and a final MEND. Somewhere in that routine, we end up hooking into a fish (providing I have the right fly, correct depth, and the perfect weight) Once they repeat and have success, their confidence grows. I mean, step back and let them go, especially on the set. Oh my goodness, in the beginning they usually just pull the line up stream. After we have been together for an hour, they are setting down stream like a pro. It’s so much fun when it all comes together. (By the way ~ the women are easier to teach because they listen. The guys, well, are guys.)

This is just one of many different types of mending. Here are a few others:

  • Cross Stream Mending * Quarter Downstream Mending * Downstream Mending
  • Reach Cast * Slack Line Cast * Parachute Cast * High Sticking

I believe 2017 will be another great year for fishing in Western North Carolina. I hope to see you on the river. I know you will be catching more fish, MEND away.