Did You Ever Go aFishin'

my dad's old stompin grounds...

Many of us know what it means to go fishing, but as a youngster of eight years old I remember first hearing the term, ‘afishing’. Like many young boys. I remember asking my dad to take me fishing and his reply was "We’ll be taking a trip to Wythe County soon and maybe John and Todd will take you with them to where I first learned to fish in New River. How does that sound?" Everyone had heard that Uncle John and Uncle Todd were real fishermen and went just about every day. They even held the record for the largest catfish caught around my dad’s home place. We all liked to go back to where our dad grew up near Wytheville Virginia and when I was a boy, we went almost every year. It was quite an experience and my first real taste of country living. Uncle Buford and Aunt Mary lived on a farm with cows, horses and chickens in the community of Austinsville along the banks of the New River. This is where my dad grew up.

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a proud fisherman...
a proud fisherman...

are we there yet...

I could hardly wait. I counted the days for the two weeks until we left. I guess Wytheville was a good 70 to 80 miles from where I lived and Austinsville was a good 15 to 20 miles further on, but we all looked forward to going back to where my dad’s old stompin grounds. We usually started first thing in the morning since it was such a long trip; I'm talking about back before the interstate highways opened up, but we kids didn't mind. We planned on visiting all our cousins and learn about everything that had happened since our last visit. It usually got everyone's attention when we saw the sign that said Austinsville, and we turned off the highway, we knew it wouldn't be long now. We kids sitting in the backseat would come up to the edge of the seat looking out the windows on both sides asking, "is that one of our cousins dad?” every time we saw someone.

fishin from the bank...
fishin from the bank...

one thing on my mind...

Finally, we drove past Uncle Sam's house and Uncle Clarence lived next door. Dad said Uncle Jim lived across the street and there was Todd and John, "are they going to take me fishing dad?" Dad just chuckled and said we would talk about that after supper. We drove on out the road, with dad telling us where everyone lived until we finally came to Uncle Beaufort's and Aunt Mary's house. People come running out of the house and out of the barn because they had all heard family was coming. The doors of our car flew open and the kids rolled out. We were all tired after such a long trip. Aunt Mary had to hug mom and all us kids and us boys were eager to learn what all uncle Buford had been up to. We boys followed uncle Beaufort back to the barn while aunt Mary took mom and my sister inside the house. We had a lot of visiting and meeting new cousins planned but all I could think of was going fishing the next morning.

future angler...
future angler...

the big day...

The next morning I was up early, you didn't have to call me twice, this was the big day. We drove down to Uncle Clarence's house and there was Uncle John and Uncle Todd. Seems they were raring to go, also. We all walked down through the field behind the house to the riverbank. "Is this where you got the big catfish", I ask? They just chuckled and said no, it was down the river a ways. We noticed plenty of grasshoppers in that field behind Uncle Clarence’s house and Uncle John said that's what we would use for bait. I set about catching a handful while my uncles got the rods and reels ready.

fishin for blue cats...

I asked what we were fishing for and they said blue cats. They strung grasshopper on my hook and I tossed it out in the river, just like I had seen my uncles do. I watched every move they make thinking I might just catch a 46 pound catfish today myself. We waited, and we waited; Uncle John felt a tug on his line and reeled in the first one. But he said it wasn't big enough to keep so he took it off the hook and dropped it back in the river. After several minutes Uncle Todd caught another which he decided to keep so we put it on the stringer. I wasn't having any luck. They asked me to go catch some more bait and they would watch my line, so while I was catching more grasshoppers they hollered and said something was on my line. I scampered back down to the dock picking up the rod they were letting me use and began reeling in my first fish. I remember I was so excited and they were both laughing, telling me to slow down or else it might get away. I didn't want to lose my first fish and as I got it up to the dock uncle Todd scooped it up with the net. I'm sure I was grinning from ear to ear having caught a two and a half pound blue cat.

my first fish...

Everyone was so proud, but I think dad was the most. I ask him if I could take the fish home so everyone could see what I had caught, so he let me. I remember my dad telling me that I walked up and down the street in front of my house for three days showing off that fish before he finally had to take it away from me and throw it away, it had started to smell…

© 2012 SamSonS

Comments 22 comments

Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 4 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

UNCLE TODD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I've heard that one before!!!!!!)

Dude, I love that you love fishing...er, did, or at least write about it.

I killed the local creek today - It's sand bass spawning time in Texas, and I'm lurving it like Elvis lurved pb and fried nanner sammiches!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

When I was a kid my dad went fishing on weekends and took a week in the summer to stay at a resort.I went fishing with him. after he died when I was 16 I fished with friends. I drifted away from fishing after college and work didn't allow much time for it. With all the power equipment around now, it doesn't seem the same.


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 4 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

samsons1: Thank you! I remember my first time fishing, I went with my Uncle Phil. Funny thing is though, while he was catching beautiful rainbow trout, all I ever seemed to catch that day was crappy old sunfish. Still the trout tasted so yummie.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 4 years ago from Tennessee Author

Thanks 'Todd' for stopping by and commenting. That first fish got me started. Thirty years ago I had it so bad I would take my bass boat to work with me and hit the lake just as soon as I clocked out from work...


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 4 years ago from Tennessee Author

thank you dahoglund for commenting. Likewise I use to go a lot, had the boat, large tackle box and all; but like you say I drifted away once my kids came along and the demands on my time increased...


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 4 years ago from Tennessee Author

Hey Dave, just thought you might respond after I said you gave me an idea the other day. I remember those trout, didn't have to scale those beauties. Nothing like cooking your catch on the creek bank...


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 4 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

samsons1: It appears like your life and mine happen to parallel each others in so many rare memories. It's as though we lived under the same roof together.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

Good hub. Always loved fishing. Fished with my grandpa when I was young. Fished with my husband later. We still fish.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 4 years ago from Tennessee Author

appreciate your kindness Dave. Would be honored to have you as my brother...


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 4 years ago from Tennessee Author

again thanks moonlake for your kind words in response. I miss the angling...


TL Boehm profile image

TL Boehm 4 years ago from Bernalillo, New Mexico

Ah, brought back such a strong - wonderful memory of my childhood summers spent at my grandparents' cottage on a small lake near the Manastee Forest in midstate Michigan. Wonderfully penned.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 4 years ago from Tennessee Author

Thank you so much for your visit and your kindness in words...


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 4 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

samsons1 - I missed a fine fishing day with friends during the week because I pulled a muscle in my back and could hardly move.

That stuff's healed enough now though - I'm going bass fishing tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 4 years ago from Tennessee Author

Hi again Wesman, glad you found yourself back and that you're on the 'mend'. Also hope you catch a fine 'mess' of those large mouth bass...


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

Samsons this was a treat reading about your 'afishin' trip. What a special place Uncle Buford and Aunt Mary's was to you. Ha on those trips we used to count cows not ask about everyone bein' a cousin as we neared our destination lol. That was some first fish for you samson, 2 1/2 lb. blue cat, yes indeed, you were proud of that sucker. BTW, I've fished Claytor Lake and the New River.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 4 years ago from Tennessee Author

Thank you Alastar for the follow and for stopping by and reading one of my latest entries. If you liked that one you may want to check out "What I Thought was Third Base". We use to play ball in Uncle Buford's pasture...


quester.ltd profile image

quester.ltd 4 years ago

Loved this - I remember my first fish and my last . . . :)

q


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 4 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks quester for taking the time to read this and for your favorable comments...


Fiddleman profile image

Fiddleman 4 years ago from Zirconia, North Carolina

Trout season opened in NC this past Saturday and as usual anglers were out an d about for the "dough belly" stockers. I can't get around too good to fish the creek banks anymore but it was once the love of my life. Great hub and some great memories.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 4 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks so much for your nice comments. I use to go the first Saturday in April when I lived in Virginia. Loved catching those fine Brook Trout in the streams. For some reason I thought those caught in a stream tasted better than the larger lake trout; just my opinion...


CriticalMessage profile image

CriticalMessage 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

A nice memory shared about a classic right of passage for a boy... Thumbs Up !


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 4 years ago from Tennessee Author

Thank CriticalMessage for your friendship and your nice comments...

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