Troutnut.com Fly Fishing for Trout Home
User Password
or register.
Scientific name search:

> > Troutnut's First Fishing Trip

Report at a Glance

General RegionMidwest
Specific LocationMarceline City Lake
Fish CaughtGreen Sunfish, Largemouth Bass
Conditions & HatchesWeather was warm and sunny.

Details and Discussion

DneuswangerMay 31st, 2007, 1:38 pm
Site Editor
Hayward, Wisconsin

Posts: 7
Jason Neuswanger (a.k.a. the "Troutnut") had his first fishing experience with me, his father, when he was 2 1/2 years old. I rigged up an 8-foot St.Croix 7-weight fly rod to function as a cane pole, with about 8 feet of monofilament line and a tiny black rubber jig fished ~18 inches beneath a small bobber (replaced these days with self-tied nymphs fished in conjunction with strike indicators). Our primary quarry were the big green sunfish that lived among the rocks along the dam of Marceline City Lake, a new 176-acre water supply lake in north central Missouri that I once managed as a fishery biologist for the Missouri Department of Conservation. A reporter from the Marceline Press was on hand to document opening day fishing activities on this new lake, and he thought it would be cute to photograph a two-year-old catching fish.

About the time the reporter got set up, Jason's bobber went under, and he torqued the fly rod like he was setting the hook on a 30-pound Chinook salmon. An 8-inch green sunfish came sailing 20 feet through the air and smacked the poor fellow in the side of the head! (Jason got his picture in the paper anyway.) We caught a bunch of sunfish that day, but mostly we chased frogs and otherwise doinked around the water's edge looking at bugs and doing whatever else a two-year-old thought was fun.

We also caught and kept several small, emaciated largemouth bass that had been stocked illegally before there were any predators to control numbers. (Anglers were being encouraged to keep bass under 12 inches long in order to establish balance in the developing fish community.)
As Jason and I were leaving the lake with a bucket full of big sunfish and skinny bass, we ran into Carl Rude -- Conservation Agent (game warden) Supervisor for the North Central District. Carl was an intimidating man with an intimidating name; but he was my friend, and I knew he had a heart of gold. He jovially approached Jason, peered into his bucket of fish, acted impressed, and asked, "What ya got there young fella?" Jason did not hesitate. He looked WAY up at Carl, and in all sincerity he proudly proclaimed, "Walleye!"

Carl looked at me with eyes wide open, desperately trying to control himself, but he couldn't do it. He burst out laughing. And I'm not sure what tickled him most--the fact that the fishery biologist's own son couldn't identify a fish correctly, or the fact that the fishery biologist's bass were so skinny that they LOOKED like walleyes to an innocent, honest two-year-old! I endured endless rounds of humiliation from Carl and the other agents on hand that day, but it now makes for some fond memories. A word to the wise though... ask for a second opinion on those bug IDs from Jason! (Just kidding, son, you're a better entomologist than I'll ever be.)

MORAL OF THE STORY: Take a kid fishing. You just never know where it may lead.


Dave Neuswanger
a.k.a. the Troutnut's Dad
Retired Fisheries Supervisor, Wisconsin DNR
TaxonMay 31st, 2007, 2:03 pm
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Wonderfully delightful story, Dave. I especially appreciate understanding the genesis of the insect IDs.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
TroutnutMay 31st, 2007, 2:20 pm
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2589
Until today I had no idea that my first fish actually smacked a reporter in the face. I need to put that on my resume.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Shawnny3June 5th, 2007, 1:31 pm
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Very cool story, Dave. You're a better father than I.

-Shawn

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com

Quick Reply

You have to be logged in to post on the forum. It's this easy:
Username:          Email:

Password:    Confirm Password:

I am at least 13 years old and agree to the rules.

Related Discussions

TitleRepliesLast Reply
Re: Fighting for fish
In General Discussion by Jjlyon01
5Oct 23, 2007
by Troutnut
Re: Spring is FINALLY here!
(1 more)

In the Photography Board by Jmd123
2Apr 17, 2013
by PaulRoberts
Re: JONATHON IS BACK!
In General Discussion by Jmd123
1Jul 1, 2009
by Martinlf
Re: When you first approach a stream...
In General Discussion by GoofusBug
11Jan 15, 2009
by Trtklr
Re: Two for one special
In Fishing Reports by Motrout
2Jun 21, 2014
by Motrout
Re: Back to Colorado
In General Discussion by Motrout
3May 27, 2011
by Motrout
Re: Hi from Missouri
In General Discussion by Motrout
9Apr 14, 2010
by Motrout
Re: Clark's Marsh, flooded
(2 more)

In the Photography Board by Jmd123
2May 23, 2020
by Martinlf
Re: Biggest bluegills I've seen since I left Texas (subtitled: FINALLY wet a fly line!)
(5 more)

In the Photography Board by Jmd123
6Jun 10, 2018
by Jmd123
Re: Chrysops callidus
In Fly Tying by FredH
6May 31, 2011
by Jmd123
Most Recent Posts
Re: mean one thing, write another?
In Male Onocosmoecus unicolor Caddisfly Adult by Creno (Troutnut replied)
Stuck on the family ID on this one -- any thoughts?
In Female Plecoptera Stonefly Adult by Troutnut
Site updates from September 17, 2020
In Site Updates by Troutnut
Site updates from September 12, 2020
In Site Updates by Troutnut
Site updates from September 10, 2020
In Site Updates by Troutnut
Site updates from September 9, 2020
In Site Updates by Troutnut
Site updates from August 30, 2020
In Site Updates by Troutnut
Site updates from September 5, 2020
In Site Updates by Troutnut
Site updates from September 4, 2020
In Site Updates by Troutnut
Site updates from September 3, 2020
In Site Updates by Troutnut