I get as giddy as a diehard deer hunter when Texas Trout stocking time is here. Preparations are beginning to be made. As I noted yesterday 2009-2010 Texas Trout Stocking Schedule released, the TPWD has released "the list" of where fish are scheduled to be stocked.
It's always a relaxing activity to sit with Billy Ray or IM or on the cell phone as we both peruse the list, looking at our schedules and the dates of stockings and the locales. We debate the likely weather, area restaurants and friends who might want to join us as we have friends all over Texas. Dangerous Dan is the only one who has come with us in the recent past, making a cold trip to the Blanco several winters ago.
Out trip got cut short because El Fisho Jr. fell into the freezing river. Being a good dad, and a former boy scout, I was prepared with clean dry clothing, towels, etc. Likewise I had been prepared when I insisted, as I always do, that he wear a life vest while fishing. I wore one too, as I often do when wade fishing, even though we were fishing from the bank.
Of course, you know how the dialog went:
"Don't stand so close to that edge. It's slippery. You're gonna fall in the river"
"No, I'm not."
"Just move back a little bit. You're too close."
"No I'm not."
Luckily, I had a kayak rescue rope (i.e. leash) attached to his ski vest (they have a special attachment for this) and I was able to jump in myself (up to my thighs) and rope him back. The current was strong as it had recently rained, and the banks were slippery. He was quickly headed for the main river current out of the eddy we were in, but my preparedness had saved the day.
It's always fun to look at the stocking locations and the dates and try to see how I can wrangle a trip with Billy Ray or the family. As I've mentioned before, I've found the rainbows much more active and hungry when the temperatures are low, and a little rain makes the fishing all the better. So the family is not often willing to go on a foul weather fishing expedition. But Billy Ray is.
I remember in those olden times, the pre-internet days, when the trout stocking list was obtained by mail from Austin or in copied sheets available at fishing stores or where licenses were sold. I remember marveling the first time they were available on line, with links no less to directions to some of the spots.
So it's kinda like looking at the Sears catalog was as a child, dreaming about cool stuff in there you'd like to have. Thinking about trips I've taken to great places like Meridian State Park and Blanco State Park and various other spots where trout have been stocked. I did a bunch of great trout fishing at the American Legion pond in Missouri City back in the 80's, and it was common for me to hit that pond early and late whenever I had the chance.
I've got a spot in mind that will be stocking soon, one of my favorites. I'll keep it a secret, because a fisherman has to have some secret holes, but it's a place I've been several times but never when stocked with trout. I'm thinking it could be pretty cool, what with all the rain we've had and all.
I'll hit some other places too, closer to home, as the stocking begins. But I'm revved up for a Billy Ray and El Fisho Jr. fishing trip to the secret spot.
Mid-summer 1950 Jamestown, Tennessee
9 hours ago