As I get older I find myself reminiscing more about my childhood growing up in Choctaw County in Mississippi. My fondest memories were fishing the two streams that flowed through our property near our house. One of the streams was near our pond that we fished and swim in. My younger brother and I would walk the banks of the streams in the summer and spring looking for pocket holes that held sun perch and yellow catfish. The catfish could put a bend in our hand-made 9 and 10 ft. cane poles. We didn't realize it at the time but we were tight-lining without a cork. We seldom used a cork because the spots we were trying to fish were well hidden with brush and limbs. We would shorten our line on the cane poles at times to gently stick the end of the pole right above the surface of the hole and wait for a tug on the redworm we use as bait. We would always land our best fish using this method. Redworms were our go-to bait when fishing the creeks. Little did know at the time that the tight line method we use as young boys would be used by me to fish for trout one day. True the cane pole method wasn't as refined as the fly rod, but still is was successful.
We would watch my Dad land bluegill and bass with the fly rod and be amazed at how far he could cast a popper. Dad used an 8 1/2 ft. Southbend fly rod paired with a Daiwa fly reel. My brother and I got to use Dad's fly rod only when he had time to give us pointers on how to cast. We found out that our cane pole could be used as a fly rod and much easier to cast. We used a monoline as long as the cane pole. We use green grasshoppers as our fly casting it as far as we could fishing the small creek that flowed into our pond. We would land small rock bass hiding near the undercut banks of the little stream. As quickly as the grasshopper vanished we would jerk the pole upward and the little fish would fly over our heads. It was always a contest to see who landed the largest little fish. We didn't realize it then but we were using a scale-down Tenkara rod. I am so glad that my brothers and I were raised to enjoy the outdoors in the form of fishing, hiking, and hunting----memories I will never forget!
As the winter months close in it gives me time to look back on this past year and wonder how I will approach the coming season. Where will I be casting my flies and poppers this next season? I hope I get to fish the Sipsey more this coming season!!!!------------Here's wishing you all a Merry Xmas and Happy New Year!