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Updated on November 7, 2009

Who knows the thoughts of a child, yet sometimes they can be the greatest truth tellers and teachers. 

Living in the large city of Los Angles where at that time was where I needed to be to make a living.  Like so many of us we lived for the week-ends so we could get away from the hectic pace that comes with it.  The out door type of recreation was more fitting for my family.  It was definitely healthier than the LA smog.  We chose fishing.

As many know, California has many great fishing area's.  Our favorites were the Kern River above Bakersfield and the beautiful Sierra Mountain range.  The memories that we will have for the rest of our lives will undoubtedly be about sitting around a campfire and telling stories and of course how big of a fish that was on our line but got away.

The events that I bring forth now, I hope will give you a chuckle or two for they are true family fishing events.

On this fishing trip we were fishing on the Kern River.  The Kern river is approximately 164 miles long.  It drains an area of the southern Sierra Nevada mountains northeast of Bakersfield.  It is fed by snow melt near Mount Whitney, the river passes through scenic canyons in the mountains and is a popular destination for other sports such as rafting and Kayaking.


Kern River

The river was named by John C. Fremont in honor of Edward M. Kern in the 1830s who as the story goes nearly drowned in the turbulent waters. In the great 1857 Fort Tejon earthquake that was estimated at 7.9 magnitude on the San Andreas Fault was strong enough to temporarily switch the direction of the flow of the Kern River.

The huge boulders and rocks that line its banks make deep pools around their base for the brown and wild rainbow trout to hide and spawn. The river is stocked and there are several excellent camp grounds. Near by there are general stores where you can purchase bait and other supplies that you might need.

I have had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful human beings standing on a river bank with rod and reel in hand. What ever those strangers are away from that atmosphere I don't really know, but they are truly my kind of people when they are pulling in that big rainbow trout.

This is were I taught my children to fish. My youngest was four when she was handed her very own fishing pole. She was very independent from day one and having an older sister and brother to compete with made her choose to be just one little independent---tom-boy. She could hold her own with them and would never back down. Her name is Jody but we just called her JO. You may now, know her as Hubber Ryanobie. It wasn't long before she could cast a line almost as far as they could. She had no qualms about threading a wiggly worm on her hook and often volunteered to bait her sisters hook.

1956 Chev-Station Wagon

Packing up that 1956 Chev-station wagon was just a every week-end ritual.  Everyone packed their best cut-off jeans and favorite tee-shirts.  I found that the most important job for me was to bring plenty of snacks for going and coming.   Of course everyone had their favorites.

I have always been impressed by the fly-fishermen and women that tie their own fly's.  I have tried this myself and after hooking my fingers more than succeeding in wrapping the fly correctly, I thought it safer to just stick to my old rod and reel.  Still when I stand beside a fly-fisherman on the same bank, I can't help stealing admiring glances at his vest or hat that proudly displays his many hand tied fly's that he can brag about that will catch the big one.

 It was one of those great week-end trips that we headed north to the Sierra Mountains.  We were going to catch us some golden trout.  Sierra Golden's don't grow large because the nutrient-poor waters in which they live provide little food.  Although the state record is nearly 10 pounds, most fish run from 8 to 12 inches long and anything over that gives you bragging rights.

There are many lakes to test your skills on.  Still, this trip we kept to the streams that fed off of them.  After we had set up camp and of course talked to some of the other campers and fishermen they will all tell you the same thing, when you ask them if they caught any trout.  "Yep, I caught my limit."  I believe that all fishermen should automatically be lifetime members of the Liar's Club.

Our camp was set up right next to the stream and everyone was up early and all promising to bring back their limits for a big fish fry for supper.  That was when Jo set up a big fit  because she was not allowed to follow her big bother and sister up river.  To calm the issue I gave her a can of salmon eggs for bait and her favorite snack---a bag of marshmallows and placed her on a log that reached across the stream that was right next to our camp so if need be I could grab her quickly if she decided to venture off.  Being the independent one it seemed a wise thing to do.


Jo marshmallow fishing
Jo marshmallow fishing

It wasn't long when she said "dat fish is getting my bait mom,"   I was busy watching my own line for you could see the trout in the shallow current and I had felt several nibbles.  I just told her to reel in her line and put another salmon egg on her hook.  Then I heard her giggling and looked up as she reeled in her trout.  This was quickly added to our bucket on the bank for just this purpose.

I was still getting nibbles but had not landed a single trout.  Maybe it was because I was kept busy taking the hooks out of the trout that Jo kept catching.  Yes, it was not long before Jo had her limit.  When she handed me her box of salmon eggs the box was still full and I asked her what she used for bait.  "Oh, I shared my marshmallows with them trouts."  It was really simple in her mind if she liked marshmallows then their was no reason the trout wouldn't like them too.

Trout & Potatoes
Trout & Potatoes

That evening trout and potatoes cooked over the campfire never tasted that sweet before---maybe it was that little touch of marshmallow---flavor?

We kept our secret when the fly fisherman came by our camp and admitted that he didn't even get a nibble.  Well, we proudly told the truth that we caught our limit. 

Every fishing trip after that we all checked the bait box to make sure that there was several bags of marshmallows. 


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    • Ps32Love profile image


      5 years ago from near a beach

      That's hilarious! Thanks for a funny story. Mid kids loved it, too.

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      7 years ago

      Thanks Fay for stopping by,this is one of those true stories and memories that I will always cherish.

    • profile image

      Fay Paxton 

      7 years ago

      Another wonderful story. Now I'm hungry.

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      8 years ago

      Hey Harlan,thanks for stopping by, looking forward to swapping a few lies.

    • Harlan Colt profile image

      Harlan Colt 

      8 years ago from the Rocky Mountains

      Hi Ginn,

      Great to meet ya - Cajun eh? I am working down in your neck of the swamp... kinda sorta - I am an offshore subsea construction worker in the Gulf. I am usually based out of Fourchon, La, - just down from La Place. Nuthin but swamps and skeeters... I'll pop on to get aquainted with your writing better when I get to shore, the internet out here is too bad to give it any justice.

      - God Bless

      - Harlan

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      8 years ago

      Thanks JY,I think a positive creative mind will always survive over any bad.

    • JY3502 profile image

      John Young 

      8 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Ginn, you are a very good writer. I enjoyed this hub immensely.

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      9 years ago

      Yes Aaron, I have caught fish on all kinds of other food. Who's to say that fish doesn't have a favorite taste? I wouldn't want to eat the same thing every day. I remember your Dad caught one on a FRENCH-Fry. I guess the bottom line is that it is illegal because the bait shops can't sell all their bait.

    • lloyd76mongol profile image


      9 years ago

      Reminds me of when I was a kid.I decided to use Cheez-its and caught several fish,except it was only bluegill,which will probably bite just about anything.

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      9 years ago

      Jo, that's just what MOM's do---it's called love.

    • ryanobie profile image


      9 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thanks mom for a GREAT hub and the joy of remembering. Really well written too!

      I actually remember sitting on that log bridge you have pictured here and using my little marshmellows (miniature ones are the ones to use by the way!). That log across the river seemed like a hundred feet high (when you are only 3 1/2 ft. tall yourself!). What a great childhood! Thanks for that! - Jo

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      9 years ago

      Christa, I too have used all kinds of bait. Found that if the trout were farm raised they usally were fed on corn products.

    • Christa Dovel profile image

      Christa Dovel 

      9 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America

      I'll have to check the regs, to see if marshmallows are legal here... If they are, this is great information. We feed our worms cornmeal, as the trout love corn, but fishing with corn kernels is illegal here!

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      9 years ago

      Thanks G-ma, good food goes hand in hand with laughter.

      Cris A thanks, I think that this world needs now more warm & fuzzy events to hear and read about.

      Rochelle, yes marshmellows probably were illegal. I agree with your Dad on the spinner, it is still my favorite.

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 

      9 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      your stories are always magical in a sense, it spreads warm, fuzzy glow inside the reader's heart. thanks for sharing. looking forward to more :D

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      9 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      AWWWW how sweet it fun fun and Good eats too...wonderful story...G-Ma :O) Hugs & Peace

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      9 years ago

      Jeri, maybe its just a family thing. I really don't like them---to sweet for me but you can bring on all the chocolate.

      Aya I really don't know, but most of these trout are farm raised and released into the rivers. It does hide the hook and maybe that helps.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      9 years ago from California Gold Country

      My family fished in the High Sierra in the 50's. I do remember lots of people using marshmallows, too.

      The people at the bait shop told us that using marshmallows was illegal-- but I think that was just because they wanted to to sell their salmon eggs and worms.

      My uncle was a fly fisherman. My dad preferred a spinner called a 'Super-Duper" or a "Panther Martin", but he also did use the fluorescent pink salmon roe.

    • Aya Katz profile image

      Aya Katz 

      9 years ago from The Ozarks

      Ginn Navarre, is it the sugar in the marshmallows or some other ingredient that the fish like?

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 

      9 years ago from United States

      Funny, I can't buy marshmallows today, without thinking that Bill or the dog's going to get eaten by an alligator because they also like them and even though it's illegal to feed them -- whenever it shows up on my grocery list, I suspicious because I know him. Haven't had trout since Yellowstone last year and it was super good.

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      9 years ago

      Funny, I can't buy marshmallows today with out thinking about fried trout.

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 

      9 years ago from United States

      Jo's secret bait is one I never forgot and to this day I seldom buy real bait. Great hub!


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