G. Sam Piatt
PDT Outdoors Writer
Following the monsoon season this area has experienced this July, Scioto Brush Creek was running full and murky week before last.
That doesn’t sound exactly like good fishing conditions, but that didn’t deter John Vinson Euton and his son, Aaron, from sliding their kayaks in for a fishing trip downstream and back.
They were fishing more than halfway up the stream from its mouth at the Scioto River.
This old stream with its excellent water quality harbors a variety of sport fishes, including largemouth bass going up to five pounds and muskie weighing 25 pounds and more.
Some nice smallmouth bass also swim there. Aaron hooked one that turned his kayak halfway round as he battled it in. The smallie, which he released to fight again, measured 17 inches.
John, casting a spinner, practiced his long-distance release on a fish he hooked. It drove down hard under his boat before somehow managing to throw the hook.
“It was a bass, but I didn’t get a good enough look at it to know if it was a smallmouth or not,” he said. “We release everything we catch up there anyway, but, still, it’s nice to get to hold a fish up and identify it and admire it before you turn him back.”
My Cave Run crappie fishing buddy, C. G. Barker from Olive Hill, who I once held to 22 points in a high school basketball game, had a great trip for crappie one day last week on Grayson Lake.
He and his grandson, Grayson, 18, and Grayson’s 18-year-old friend, Tommy Bocook, caught 90 crappie for the frying pan.
“We got them along the cliffs, fishing minnows probably 15 feet deep,” C.G. said.
The daily limit on crappie is 30 per angler on Grayson Lake, whereas it’s 15 on Cave Run.
Grayson Lake has always had a good population of crappie but they’ve always been on the small side and thin rather than full-bodied.
In fact, about 20 years ago, the crappie became so numerous yet stunted in growth that the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources netted thousands of them and buried them up on the banks, hoping that less numbers in the food chain would result in more quality fish.
Barker said the fish they were catching last week were worthy of the live well.
It was 1969 when I took my two sons, ages 12 and 13 at the time, tent-camping into the wilds of Ontario, Canada. We left on the day Man first walked on the moon. We stayed a week on the shore of Lake Agnew, 400 miles north of the border. We complimented our camp grub with a mess or two of fresh fish, with me, having won a merit badge in the Boy Scouts for cooking, doing all the cooking.
We fought the bloodsucking bugs by burning Pick in the tent, but we had a general good time.
At the end of a week we loaded up and headed home. The first town we came to, still in Canada, the boys began looking for a restaurant. We finally found a good one, one featuring home style cooking. The waitress brought us platters heaped high with tender chopped steak, mashed potatoes and brown gravy, beans and buttered corn, and fluffy hot biscuits right out of the oven.
Never before or since have I seen two human beings tear into food as those two boys did. Of course, I was doing pretty good myself, but as I buttered another hot biscuit, I happened to look around the restaurant. It was crowded, and just about every patron had laid down his or her their utensils and was watching — with amusement and fascination — my two sons wolfing their food. Even the cook had come out of the kitchen to watch.
JUST FOR THE MOMENT
In one of my college poetry books, I came across a poem written by Willie Nelson, he of “On the Road Again” and “Blue Eyes Cryin’ In the Rain” fame.
His “Heaven and Hell” has five stanzas, and it’s the third that raises the most interesting speculation on the subjects of his poem. It deals with the present moment of time, declining to look on what lies beyond.
“Heaven ain’t walking on a street paved with gold,
And Hell ain’t a mountain of fire;
Heaven is laying in my sweet Baby’s arms,
And Hell is when Baby’s not there.”
G. Sam Piatt can be reached at 606-932-3619 or firstname.lastname@example.org.