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Fishing Gods are good to me

Laught Tracks in the Dust
Milo Yield
Damphewmore Acres, Kan.

Well, when good fortune turns your way, all you can do is celebrate your good luck and hope it continues. I’m talking about the Fishing Gods. You’ll recall that last week I recounted my catching of the biggest fish of my lifetime on a rod and reel — a 13-pound channel catfish.

Just a few days after that personal record catch, me and my good young fishin’ buddy, Gilson Scales, went to a pond to see how my aquatic weed and algae management in the fine Flint Hills fishing hole wuz progressing. I’m so old these days that I won’t venture out to fish or hunt alone. Gilson is not only my good outdoorsman friend, he’s also my insurance policy just in case I take a header and incapacitate myself.

When we arrived, the water wuz plenty fishable and the wind wuz white-capping the pond. But, as I told Gil, “the wind ain’t blowin’ under the water so the fish don’t mind it.” To deal with the wind, we had to fish on the upwind side of the pond (north) and throw our bait and lures with the wind.

Now my friend Gilson has a personal favorite fishing plug that looks like a monstrosity to me, but for some reason usually the fish like it. It’s got bells, whistles, lights and rattles in the plastic lure. And, there ain’t hardly nuthin’ that will get him to change lures because he’s had such good luck with it.

So as he wuz confidently throwing his “monstrosity,” I tied on a small translucent golden-colored, curly-tailed soft plastic lure called the “Eclectic Electric Chicken” and started throwing it with the wind. On about the 10th cast, a big ol’ bucket-mouth black bass slammed my “chicken” and the fight wuz on.

Luckily, after a good fight of about 5 minutes, Gilson wuz there to help me land ol’ bucket-mouth and when we weighed it on Gilson’s electronic fish scale it weighed just short of 5 1/2 pounds. That’s not a record bass for me by far, but it wuz the biggest bass I’d caught this year.

And, as it turned out, it wuz the only sizable fish we caught that day. And, for once, my “Electric Chicken” outperformed Gilson’s “monstrosity.”

Thank you, Fishing Gods.

•••

Fall has arrived for sure. We had a light frost on Oct. 2, the earliest date in recent years. But it didn’t kill my garden plants and only killed a few leaves on the sweet potato vines.

It’s fine fall Indian summer harvest weather and my neighbors are making good progress on their corn harvest and some have started combining soybeans.

As for me, I’m waiting for some moisture so I plant my fall wildlife food plots. The ground is ready, the seed is bought and mixed, and all I need is a good rain.

All the migrating birds are gone except for the killdeers and a few doves. The purple martins left about two months ago. The barn swallows left about 10 days ago. And the hummingbirds left a few days after the frost. A few teal ducks have lit on my pond and the archery deer hunters have their blinds set up and are in the field eager to harvest a big buck. Plus, leaves are coloring and falling every day.

•••

Ol’ Nevah and I went to “Manhappiness” last Sunday for a family visit. We took our grandson, his wife and great-grandson “The Hudster” on a picnic at the beautiful Pillsbury Crossing park and wildlife area east of town. There ain’t a prettier spot in the entire Flint Hills.

Before we came home, we went to Wamego and visited with old family friends — the Joneses. They are a Jones family we will never be able to keep up with when it comes to kids, grandkids and great-grandkids. They’ve got us way more than doubled. But we agree with them: Grandkids and great-grandkids are really “great.”

•••

I’ll finish off this column with some more recollections about play time and play things during my callow youth seven decades, or so, ago. That wuz back in the day when every family raised at least a few hogs. Hogs were prolific and known as “mortgage lifters.” I’m not sure they lived up to the mortgage lifter moniker, but they sure were tasty.

And, they became a source of fun for us rambunctious boys looking for things to occupy our time. Everyone fed their “free range” hogs ear corn as part of the daily ration. In the course of time, the hog lot became littered with more than baby pigs. It got littered with heavy manure-packed corn cobs.

And, those heavy corn cobs became missiles in “epic corn cob wars.” Yep, we boys ignored the stink and the uncleanliness of those corn cobs and threw and lobbed them at each other.

As I recall, most of those cob fights ended up with somebody crying and somebody mad after a well-placed or lucky cob found its target.

But, we all survived — and so did our friendships.

•••

I’ve related this philosophy of life before, but after a prolonged, less-than-satisfactory run-around by medical and health insurance professionals this morning, I want to state my philosophy for life again.

These are my wise words for the week. “Rest assured that any day of your life that intersects in way, shape or form with the medical, legal, insurance, utility, cell phone and automotive industries will not be one of the best days of your life. You can throw in government at all levels, too, just for good measure.”

Have a good ‘un. ❖


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