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Best Fishing Trip

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Published on: Mar. 2, 2004

Last revision: Nov. 16, 2010

fork down to about a foot long, and the other side down to about 2 feet. He ran the long side of the fork through the fish's gill and lay the forked stick and fish in a small pool of water.

"That will keep him fresh for supper," he said, and we resumed fishing. We all caught fish that afternoon, but some were too small to keep. Momma's hand was our length limit. If a fish was smaller than Momma's hand, we threw it back.

We wandered down the creek, dropping our lines in any pool that might hold fish. Then we crossed and came back up the other bank. We saw a hawk, lots of caterpillars, some squirrels and a hornet's nest. I built a couple of boats from tree bark, but both sank in the shallow rapids.

Momma and Grandpa seemed to have as much fun as I did. She called him "Dad" and he called her "Sis." She gave a little squeal every time she caught a fish, and Grandpa chuckled as he took it off the hook. They laughed and reminisced about days past, and Grandpa teased her about how her sunbonnet was going to ruin her hairdo.

We also saw a brown snake swimming with a fish in its mouth. The fish was bigger than any we caught. Seeing the snake pretty much ended the fishing trip for Momma, so we trudged back up the shady road to home.

Grandma cleaned the fish and fried them in corn meal and bacon grease for supper. It was one of the best meals I've ever eaten. She assured me the biggest fish was the one I caught, and I ate it all after Momma picked out the bones.

In later years, I spent lots of time fishing with my other grandpa. He loved to fish and had rods and reels, tackle boxes and minnow buckets. I remember an overnight trip we took on the Gasconade River with some uncles. We caught a lot of fish, and two uncles gigged a bunch of frogs. We had a campfire, boiled coffee in a gallon bucket and roasted wieners.

As an adult, I've spent many a peaceful hour sitting on the bank or in a boat trying my best to outwit the fish below. I've never landed any trophies but I've caught a few that were "big enough to keep."

Of all the fishing trips I've taken, I must admit that none was more fun or as memorable as fishing with my Momma and Grandpa on the little creek that somewhere, maybe, empties into the Little Niangua River.

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