The Best Time to Go Fishing

Les Graham of Spokane is the man behind my introduction to the sport.

I've had no greater pleasure this year than fishing with Les Graham of Spokane, the man who first introduced me to the sport more than 5 decades ago.

It’s Who You Take That Makes It So

I can’t say I know why I learned to fish and to love it as I do. I only know that it’s true. Last week I had the great opportunity to return a favor. I took fishing the man who first took me 58 years ago when I was only 5.

Les Graham and I went to Badger Lake in Washington near Spokane. We had a great day. He out-fished me on the cutthroat trout of his favorite lake. It was appropriate for him to catch the most, I felt, a kind of honor lived out.

I remember the day he took me and his son, Larry, for the first time. Before we went, Les had us practice casting with little Zebco outfits, if I remember right, throwing bobbers at a Hoola Hoop target on his front lawn. When he felt we were proficient enough, he took us down to the Spokane River to a reasonably safe place where he could fish while we toyed at the idea.

Larry and I stood on rocks above a clear pool trying to catch little perch that chased our worms. I don’t remember catching one, but I remember seeing them with their black perch stripes and feeling the nibbles.

These trout were firm, fresh out of the cold deep water.

One of Les Graham's Badger Lake Cutthroat Trout.

I remember as well the nice rainbow trout about the length of Les’ forearm. He caught it on a spinner or spoon. It’s frozen in memory, glistening silver, with pink-purple swashes on both sides speckled with black spots heavier against its dark green back.

I dreamed of fishing at night and by day from then on all through childhood. That was the hook set in me and it’s remained these many years. I’m now 63.

Something happened that long ago day. Some divine imprint was placed into my spirit that told me fishing was part of my life. I’ve always been happiest when I did. It’s been my connection to reality, to life and to other people.

On Badger Lake

Thank you, Les, for taking time to give me that childhood memory. It was enough to settle in me for life.

~Dwayne Parsons     Twitter@ifishwrite