Jay Ford Thurston

Jay Ford Thurston

My son Dan and his daughter were coming to fish with me in May. Dan talked to me and then gave the phone to Izzi. During the conversation I asked Izzi, “Is Izzi something you want me to call you?” “Yes,” she said, “Call me Izzi. Now everybody in my school know me by that name.”

So son Dan, and his ten year old daughter came up to fish trout with me on a warm weekend in May. I gave Izzi my hip boots to wear with a sock in the end of each boot. Izzi said, “They fit well.”

I shortened a belt all the way down and put it around her waist the told her to run the loop through the belt so the boots will stay on. She looked up at me and said as she smiled, “Grandpa, “They will stay on!”

“Well we are ready to go and catch some trout!” I said.

It has always bothered me how some angles don’t know how to wade the trout stream. I remember this one well know angler waded right up the middle of the stream. I mentioned to him that he should be wading on the side of the stream. And he said, “I can’t cast form there.” And he kept wading up the middle of the stream to scare the trout on the left and right side of him. I though hasn’t he learned to roll cast?

“Why wade on the side of the stream?” You are asked. Because the water is shallow there and you won’t make a wave to scatter the trout. You can pick up your boot and hold it above the water, and then put it down, tow first, and not make a wave to scare the trout. So I always find the shallow part of the stream and wade slowly so you didn’t frighten the trout. And, I knew that was something I had to tell izzi. Because with waves she will scare the trout and you won’t catch any.

I selected a stream, that went through a corn field, and had a 30 to 50 foot buffer on each side of the stream, which the farmer cut for hay. So it was easy walking and casting your lure. No trees or branches to avoid. On every corner there was a lunker-structure for cover for trout. An easy place to teach a child how to fish for trout.

I showed Izzi the underhand cast with her spinning rod. However, I soon discovered she was not tall enough for the underhand cast. But she could get the lure out with a right side cast. I told her to keep casting to get the lure out a little further.

When we came to a place where it was best to get into the stream and fish the next pool. I told Izzi to watch me wade across the stream. I got into the fast water and walked slowly into the current. I told Izzi, “See I am facing into the current and wading slowly upstream.” Then I told her. “Notice my leg is only four inches across the front of the leg. Now if I wade facing the bank it is six inches across my leg and the current can wash me off my feet. So you always want to walk face first into the current, with your legs spread apart, and let the water go around your legs.”

Izzi remembered what I told her about wading the trout stream. The next day the sun was shining bright. We went early to fish Warner Creek, in the Kickapoo Valley Reserve. We were going to fish the north facing cliff pools that the sun couldn’t reach.

Izzi made a difficult cast between two logs. I said. “Izzi you have learned well. That was a difficult cast.”

In the next north facing cliff pool I got my spinner stuck into a branch in the stream. I called for Dan to come because I thought he could get down in the stream to free my spinner. Dan looked it over and said. “Izzi can get it out for you.”

I said, “The current is kind of swift right there.”

Dan called Izzi over and showed her where I had my lure around a stick. He said to Izzi, “Do you think you can get it out for Grandpa Jay?”

She smiled and said, “Yes I can do it.”

Izzi took her dads hand and got into the water where she faced upstream and slowly walked one leg at a time into the current. When she came to the spinner she unhooked it from the stick and I reeled it in. Then she put her left leg over and then her right over to wade back to her dad. Dan gave his daughter a hand and helped her up the bank.

“Wow, Izzi, I didn’t think you could get that out for me.”

She looked up at me and said, “Grandpa Jay, I waded just like you told me to do.”

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Jay Ford Thurston is the Broadcaster’s trout fishing columnist. He can be contacted at trout@mwt.net.

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