So down to freezing again we go; the forecast says perhaps some snow.
Last Tuesday, though, as we hit a lick at casting for bass on the Kinniconick; the sun bore down so hot at noon, we thought: this can’t be March, it must be June.
Sweat shirts were shed in a very short time; T-shirt weather suited us just fine.
Bear with me now, just a little more time; and I’ll shake this spell of writing in rhyme.
The catching of fish is not what this tale is all about; no, this story involves the putting in and the taking out.
The blue green water of Kinniconick Creek had risen to the top of the Garrison launching ramp and spilled over onto the edge of the parking lot.
Bill Ottis Carver backed his truck in until the shallow water surrounded the front wheels. I waded out until the water reached to just below my boot tops. I held onto the rope as he backed the trailer (and the truck) into the water far enough to float the boat away.
As he parked the truck and walked back, I pulled the boat in until its bottom scraped the concrete ramp. I climbed in a made my way to the passenger seat in the middle of the boat. Bill followed and sat down in the driver’s seat.
And there we sat, the bow refusing to slide free of the concrete bottom.
We pushed with the dip net on one side and the paddle on the other, all to no avail.
Finally, Bill started the outboard and lowered it until the prop was just beneath the surface. We churned our way free at last.
We motored under the railroad bridge and on downstream.
We cast the left-hand shoreline down to where the stream enters the Ohio River. If there were bass on the prowl we saw no evidence of them.
The water temperature was 52 degrees. We expected to find sauger gathering at the mouth for their migration up the creek to spawn.
We worked the other shoreline coming back. We cast crankbaits, spinnerbaits, jigs and spoons. Gar were breaking the surface in the middle of the stream. The only fish to take a lure were sheepshead (freshwater drum).
We ate our lunch of Spam sandwiches with horseradish mustard at noon. At 2:30 we punched out and headed back to the ramp. Bill had parked the truck and trailer a comfortable distance from the water’s edge. Now, though, the water had risen into the parking lot enough to surround the wheels on the trailer.
Bill, seeing that he could not get the boat in close enough to prevent me from stepping out in water that would be over my boots, motored upstream a bit and allowed me to get out on a mud bank. I grabbed a tree limb to prevent me from sliding down into the stream.
Back at the ramp, I backed the truck and trailer into the water and we began the tedious task of lining the boat up and getting it back on the trailer. Running the boat up onto the trailer was out of the question because of the danger of damaging the prop on the concrete bottom.
Bill, using a paddle and then running the trolling motor with the prop half out of the water, got the boat in proper alignment several times only to have a stiff breeze push the rear of the boat out of alignment.
Finally, though, he threw me the rope and I quickly pulled the boat up enough to where he could step out onto the tongue and pull enough rope off the crank to hook in into the bow.
Then, sitting on the tailgate, he cranked the boat into position.
If you stick with me for a while (a few months, perhaps) I’ll give you a fishing report in which I actually catch a bass.
FROM “RICHARD CORY”
And he was rich – yes, richer than a king –
And admirably schooled in every grace;
In fine (short), we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.
So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.
——Edwin Robinson (1869-1935)
Reach G. SAM PIATT at (606) 932-3619 or [email protected]