Literally covered head to toe in mud, Mike Lewis sobbed on the walk up the street to his house. I circled him, like the Beaver next to Larry Mondello, carrying our little fishing rods as he dripped his way home.
With fishing slow at our neighborhood creek, we goofed around in the woods. The small creek in suburban St. Louis had left roots of a huge tree exposed above its bank. Grabbing onto them, I navigated a precarious ledge overhanging an inch of water topping the gooey brown gunk. Mike Lewis did not.
Not sure if he snapped off one of the roots or if he just couldn’t hold on, but he plopped back first into the thickest of muck. Day over.
It was one of the more memorable adventures in our creek, where we spent hours upon hours as kids.
There was an abandoned homestead nearby, where we’d rummage through the overgrown yard finding old bottles and beer cans. A riffle in the creek was prime for arrowhead hunting. In winter, we’d skate and play hockey. We once found a huge alligator snapping turtle frozen halfway into the ice.
And there was fishing. Doug Shaiper and I once brought home a couple catfish and were surprised my dad promptly cooked them for our lunch.
It was nothing to see a kid walking, or riding a bike, down the street with a fishing rod and a small tackle box. You don’t see it much today. There are groups striving to keep those Norman Rockwell images alive.
In conjunction with National Fishing and Boating Week, June 7 will be the first KeepAmericaFishing Day. It’s a day for avid and novice anglers alike to show their support of recreational fishing, and by sharing their experiences anglers are eligible to win prizes from KeepAmericaFishing and its partners. Go to www.KeepAmericaFishing.org/fishing-day.
“This is the inaugural year for KeepAmericaFishing Day and it's an exciting new venture," said American Sportfishing Association Vice President Gordon Robertson. "Anglers everywhere should come to www.KeepAmericaFishing.org/fishing-day and share their fishing experiences anytime during National Fishing and Boating Week, but especially on KeepAmericaFishing Day to stand united behind one of America's favorite pastimes.”
There are a myriad of prizes, from decals to rod and reel combos, just for participating. The biggest prizes will be available on June 7, but if you're having too much fun on the water, you have until June 8 to post your photos and comments.
Anglers may also download the Fishidy app on their mobile devices to capture and share their experiences directly from the water. Fishidy is KeepAmericaFishing's official mobile partner.
“We are honored to have some of fishing's most recognized brands on board for this campaign, highlighting the importance of anglers getting out on the water and supporting our sport,” Robertson said.
I’d like to think Mike Lewis takes his kids fishing like I do, only he doesn’t get anywhere near mud.