Hello and thanks for dropping by. The lunar picture was snapped outside my home on Monday. Across the street is the countryside. It’s a beautiful view. I love that photo because instead of just a sliver, the camera caught the round shape of the moon.
Unfortunately, if it’s that light outside, I’ve overslept if wanting to go fishing!
This morning I decided to enjoy a day off from the McJob and catch something fresh and healthy to cook. Unable to decide whether to go cat fishing or trout fishing, I decided to do both!
The trout fishing came at a favorite stream near West Union in Fayette County. Today I decided to walk a little farther above the usual places fished and that was a good decision. It did not take long to catch five lovely fish. Unfortunately, there was no fillet knife in the car – It was necessary to field dress them (slit and gut, leaving the heads on) with a roofing knife!
The water was crystal clear today. From the early morning photo, one can tell the weeds were a bit wet with dew after a clear, starry night. Jet trails reflected off the water. Other than the gurgle of the small stream, all was quiet… until I threw a brand new $4.19 lure into the weeds and lost it after just the third cast! Thankfully the luck improved after that and nobody heard the loud exclamation (a fecal reference) that surely would have had Mom grind a bar of soap over my teeth!
After limiting out on trout and starting to leave the park, the stocking truck pulled in. It’s always fun to get the limit of five fish before they are replenished. It proves the old rule that the more difficult it is to get to a fishing hole, the better the chances there will be “carryovers” from the last week’s stocking.
On the way home, I stopped in the little town of Aurora. It had been a very long time since the last visit. Way back in the early 1970s, Grandma and Grandpa used to take my sister and I to the Dairy Sweet for an ice cream cone while we were driving to Backbone State Park for a day of trout fishing. How little things change!
The ice cream brought back many memories of good times… but then came painful reminders about Mom and Dad dying and the emptiness left behind. It’s not that there are regrets… but just that there won’t be any more of the fun times with the relatives. But the memories endure. Sis does not remember all of the stories … She moved on, got married, and lives in another state. I didn’t and just enjoy reminiscing and re-telling the stories… and experiencing some new things, too! The return trip wasn’t so bad after the ice cream and recalling the time Uncle Clifford’s dog ate the trout bait and swallowed the hook.
Once back home in Anamosa, I took the van and headed over to the Wapsipinicon River (WOP-see-PIN-uh-kun) River. The river cuts through the area just a mile from the trailer. After three hours of cat fishing, there had been several bites but I wasn’t able to land anything. It’s good that there were trout in the fridge!
The picture on the right shows the two river poles tied to a tree to prevent the fish from taking the rods into the water. Been there, done that! Securing the poles was necessary because after all the fishing, I had to crawl in the back of the van for a quick snooze before heading home to cook dinner.
Three of the very fresh trout went into the oven in foil packets along with some of VT’s recipe for seasoned butter:
1.5 sticks salted butter
3T chopped fresh cilantro
1 finely chopped shallot
1/2t garlic salt
The cavity of each fish was also crammed full of as much fresh cilantro as possible. The foil packets were baked 35 minutes at 375 degrees. Jesse seemed to like the buttery, moist fish as much as his daddy. Then it was time to zonk out on the couch – with both of our striped bellies full.
With a late shift tomorrow, there’s still a chance to camp out tonight. Serena has been crying since I came home. She’s wanting to go outside. Tonight we’re sleeping in the van – even though the Express van is in the driveway. It’s a great way to end a fun day!
There will be many more enjoyable days in the future as we enter the autumn season. While savoring the ice cream cone from the Dairy Sweet, I looked at the corn and soybeans maturing and was reminded me that we cannot hold on to things or stop time. Winter is coming. Vegetation will die and come back next year. Some day I’m going to join them too. But until then, life is still good and each day – and each fishing trip – is a gift from God.
Take care and thanks for riding along.
Bradford, the “Van Trekker” in Jones County, Iowa
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