Grandma's Big Splash!!!
Now gram, could not swim and was deathly afraid of water but she loved to go fishing. Most of our week-ends were spent camping on streams and fishing. As I have shown in ( Marshmallow- Fishing) it was always a family affair.
This particular trip we were on a river in northern California. The children knew how to swim and now were expert fishing---nerds. Many times it was their catch that we enjoyed that evening around a camp fire. Yes, it was Gram that I had to try and keep a eye on. It seemed that we would start out fishing next to each other and then of course Gram would see a fish splash---way over there and point this fact out to me that we should be over---there. Maybe it was also the fact that she could not cast her line where she wanted. It was also my job to try and retrieve her line from the tree branches or anywhere on land or water that it might have---snagged.
The stream was shallow in most places but the trout would look for deeper pools to hide in, especially in the middle of the day. No! gram was no quitter---she fished from sun-up to sun-down.
She never threw a fish back in no matter what size it was, luckily most people thought it was her bait so she didn't get caught for illegal catch on size. In her way of thinking---if she caught it then it belonged to her, which she claimed was just plain common sense.
A passing fisherman had stopped and told me that the fish and game truck had just been up stream and released a load of trout. This stream was stocked regularly. It wasn't long after that when gram excitedly yelled over to me that she could see a lot of trout near where she was fishing. I thought now maybe she could get one on her line and she would be happy. I laid back against a big rock and rested my eyes for a moment.
I was suddenly jolted back to reality when I heard a mans voice, "Lady I don't care, you can not use that method to catch fish, it's illegal."
There stood the warden with his badge reflecting brightly in the sun light. Out in the middle of the shallow stream stood Gram with a net dipping up trout. Her fishing pole lay high and dry up on the bank. I tried to apologize for her behavior but all my talking and pleading was to no avail for he just stood there and politely wrote me out a ticket for the illegal catch and for her excuse of leaving her fishing license at home.
We all sat there around the campfire that evening with our plates filled with trout and fried potatoes but some how I did not think that it tasted quite like the price of a one hundred dollars. Yes, that was a high price for a trout dinner. Of course Gram practically licked her plate clean.
The next day I thought that if we moved to a different location maybe Gram could stay out of trouble. I found a spot that was an off branch to this same stream and although it was deeper maybe with her being afraid to go into deep water she would not be wading out to net her catch.
I noticed and pointed out to Gram that there was a rail road track above where we were and there seemed to be a mountain tunnel a little way up that track. She had always been fascinated with trains and talked many times about how she rode a train from Missouri to the west.
This fishing spot that I had selected did not seem to be to active but I ddidn't really care for I still had that expensive taste of trout lingering in my mouth. Gram was complaining that she could not see any fish anywhere and wanted to go back to the original place where she had netted her big catch. I was chatting with some other people that where hiking by, when I noticed that they were looking pass me.
I turned and there was Gram up on that rail road bridge and just sitting there with her line dropped straight down and reeling in a fish. I yelled at her to get back down because a train might come out of that tunnel and she had no way to go but down into the water below. After reeling in her fish she did take a moment to inform me that she had checked the rail tracks and they were very rusty and her common sense told her that there had probably not been a train down them for a long time. Well it was time to start heading back to the car anyway.
Then I heard it!
I dropped the gear that I had just picked up and ran for the water below the bridge. I heard her hit the water just as I dove in and she came up coughing and sputtering when I grabbed her and drug her to the bank---and sat there soaking wet and then I could not stop laughing, for Gram still had her fishing pole tightly gripped in her hand.
- NO---RAISING GRAM WAS NOT EASY, BUT I DEARLY MISS HER COMMON SENSE!