Rick Zieger - Jul 29, 2013

We have a friend that has wanted to have a fish fry. One day at church he asked if I would help him get some more fish. He is not at the point where he can go by himself. He is in the early stages of Alzheimer's and knows it.

My wife told me that I needed to go with him. We feared that he did not have a lot of time to be in activities like this. We were also aware that his personality is reversing. Not as gentle as he used to be.

We headed out to a pond that is near the local university. It's quick to get to and easy to leave if we have to. As we walked in he talked about how hard it is to realize that things are changing and he cannot change them. He told me that he had turned his driver's license in a few days before and had his wife hide the keys. Twice he found himself in the car and did not know how it happened. I hurt for my friend.

We started fishing on one end of the dam. We kept moving as we were not catching fish. This also made it easier for him to concentrate. I had taken one rod with me. There is one spot on this pond that I always manage to catch a few fish. There seems to be some brush in the pond at this place. Never know which side or the depth, but time would tell. I headed down to this spot to see if I could figure out what to do. It took ten casts before I got the first fish, and then it took another dozen casts to refine the area. It turned out to be a yard square. Any time the fly came through this area there was a fish.

I called my friend to come to this place. I had him stand to my left and watch where I cast. After I got a fish I had him cast to the same place. He picked up a nice crappie. We fished this place for just over half an hour when I saw that he was getting tired.

I told him that I had some other things to do and needed to get home. He protested a little, because neither of us liked to leave biting fish. I helped him fillet the fish. I took them off the bone and he used an electric knife to take them off the skins. I was pleased that this skill still seems to be with him.

I had to take some of the fillets home to make him happy. We had picked up 78 fish from this spot. Twenty three of these were gills and the rest were crappie. This allowed my friend to have his fish fry on the fish he caught.

The ways things are going I don't think I will be taking him fishing next year. Something I regret.

He has told me twice how much fun he had that day. Other times he doesn't remember. I am so very glad that we found the fish.

Hope you can get out on the water.

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