The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Fishing brings back good times, great memories


August 18, 2019

Sadly, I haven’t been fishing at all this year. I did pick up my copy of “Even Brook Trout Get the Blues,” and do a little reading however.

The first chapter of that book, by John Gierach, author of “Sex, Death, and Fly-Fishing,” describes his learning how to fish.

Actually, he’s not certain of the details of the first fish he ever caught. I confess I would probably be right in that same boat. I might have been in a boat when I caught my first fish but I just can’t remember.

Granddad Ruby was a serious fisherman. He was serious enough to refine his son-in-law’s techniques enough to be pretty good at fishing too. He was too serious, however, to go fishing with a grandkid on his first fishing trip. That duty fell to my dad.

I remember getting a fishing pole for my birthday and wanting to use that thing bad. Dad finally agreed to take me, but we had to do it around Portales.

I had my choice between Sam Sanders’ gravel pit pond or Emory Ferguson’s earth tank. I believe that day we ended up at Emory’s because it was just down the road.

It would have been early April so the wind was getting up and I remember walking down by the pump where we found an opening in last year’s cattails and I’m sure I immediately tangled that Zebco rig up. I know for several years after that his fishing time was diverted to untangling kids’ fishing lines.

I learned to fish from a bank and fish for crappie from a boat. We also ran trotlines when I was little and great big catfish in the dark is a little scary but exciting. I learned to river and stream fish as a teen and adult.

When we wound up at the grandparents’ on a Sunday afternoon we improvised a fishing rig out of a tree limb or feed stalk with a piece of feed sack string tied to it. An open safety pin or piece of baling wire sharpened on the concrete became a hook and a red worm dug from the flower bed was bait.

That rig hardly ever worked on the goldfish in the concrete cow tank but I was patient anyway.

So many good early memories involved fishing at the lake. My dad losing me in the cab of the pickup because I had curled up in the floorboard, getting caught in a hailstorm with the older Ferguson boys and watching them scramble for cover underneath the pickup, winding up in the middle of nowhere with Travis Gossett and clan on the Sabinosa River, hooking up with some big rainbows near the head of the Rio Grande with Lee, sleeping under a tarp in the rain with my grandmother and grandfather at what was then Alamogordo Reservoir (now Lake Sumner) and sleeping on the Pecos in a hammock with the other set of grandparents.

What high times, what great memories.

Karl Terry writes for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at: [email protected]


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