Rick Zieger - Jun 17, 2013

It was a weird day. It had rained about two inches in the two previous days. It had been so long since this has been done that no one knew how to act. While at church I was asked how this would change the fishing. Would it make them bite more or less? Would the clarity of the water be changed?

My answer was that I did not think that it would make much difference to the fish. I did not feel that there would be much difference in the water clarity as no water washed in. The water went into the cracks in the ground.

The question was asked if any fish could be caught that afternoon. My wife answered and said that they should go out with me. She did not take their reply of not having any equipment. She said that I have enough to outfit many people. We made arrangements to meet at a pond near the University football field. I took a fly rod and a spinning rod with me. I figured the spinning rod would be better for a first time fisherman.

I got out to the pond a little before the agreed time so I went to the dam to see if I could catch a few fish and figure out where the fish were. I caught a few here and there, but I was still waiting for the other person.

I was most of the way across the dam when a couple of people came out of the stands. It was a mother with her son. I could see that he had Downs Syndrome. She asked if they would be in the way. Her son wanted to see what I was catching. It was more interesting to him than the football game. I asked him if he liked fishing. He replied that he had never been fishing.

My reply was that we could remedy that, if he was interested. He was hooked. I explained to him that I would help him to begin with.

I grabbed the spinning rod and made a cast. I had him hold the rod and get his hand of the reel. I stood to the side and held his reel hand so he would not reel to fast. I also helped him learn how to reel.

About 15 feet off shore a crappie attacked the twister tail. He had a fish to catch. He had a ball getting this fish in, and the he started to hand the rod back to me. I asked him if he wanted to try again. He looked at Mom, who looked like she was going to say no. I told her that I asked and he did not force it.

I cast the rod again and let him reel it himself. He did it way to fast. The twister tail looked like a spinner bait coming across the surface. No fish. He looked at me wondering what happened. Told him he reeled to fast. Made another cast and had him reel slower.

Again about 15 feet off shore another crappie slammed the bait. He got this fish in by himself. One excited fisherman!

At this point he wanted to go tell everybody what he had done. That was fine with me. He headed off for the stands. His mother thanked me for doing it. She also asked who had more fun doing this, her son or me. I told her that I won that battle hands down.

I stayed and caught another dozen crappie out of that spot, but mine were on the fly rod. The other folks had not showed up so I decided to head home to spend some time with my better half.

I did have some nice fish to fillet and share, but I had more fun watching my fishing buddy catch a few fish.

Hope you can get out on the water.

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