Adam is our firstborn and was five years of age when the accompanying photo was taken. Like dad’s first Pulaski fish, this one was caught; snagged fish came later.
Fresh off an overnight stay in the upstairs room at the Log Cabin Inn, we headed upstream to the channels above the Sportsmen’s Pool.
The fish was Adam’s second thrill of the morning: the first was that all on his own, he picked a spot and pooped in the woods without telling me where he was going – and why. He was very proud of himself.
There were fish in the general area that day and I spotted this one hanging in slightly deeper water just below a shallow slot. After several drifts of the artificial salmon egg bait right on its nose, it either bit or inhaled it; hard to tell which. I set the hook and thus the tone for the next span of minutes, which seemed like hours. It (the fish) didn’t seem inclined to turn and streak downstream, so I checked the drag on the reel and handed the pole to Adam. A young Asian-American family fishing nearby was delighted, with the dad urging Adam to land the large fish and stated ‘You get him little boy!’ The problem was we were on a steep bank about three feet above the water. Every time I thought the fish was tired enough for me to slide down and grab him around the base of the tail, he would see me and exert just enough pressure to take four or five feet of line and stop just out of reach. I’d climb back up, take the rod and work him closer, give the rod back to Adam and after a couple of minutes, climb down and repeat the process.
After several more rounds of this, a passing fisherman stopped, watched for a minute or two, smiled and asked ‘would you like me to net that for you?’ “Yes please. Thank you,” I replied. The end result was the happy picture you see attached.
I fished our Salmon River here (in Malone) with the kids many times and Pulaski several times once Laura, four years Adam’s junior, got old enough. We had a very strict routine while there: after dinner, go out in the Log Cabin’s parking lot and play catch with a Kush ball under the lights. Then it was across the street to watch the salmon imitate jet skis as they shot upstream across the bedrock shallows. Then it was off to bed, where the kids each got a twin bed and dad got to sleep on the floor. The next morning was cast in stone as well: Burger King for breakfast, play in the plastic ball bin, then back to the Cabin to get ready to go fishing.
Sprinkled throughout the upcoming installments will be a few more kid fishing stories and tales from the Log Cabin’s bar. In fact, I’ll include an appetizer now. After I’d stayed and fished a couple of days (without the kids), I would usually stop in and have one beer with my buds before heading for home. When I finished it, I’d turn to them and said, ‘Well boys, time to leave. But just like herpes, I’ll be back.’
Can’t you almost hear the groans and comments even now?