Old School

Uncle Frank
Uncle Frank's 44 1/2" muskie from 1951.

The place on the river has been in the family since the 1840s. As good as my brothers and I think we are, being the only ones who really fly fish the area, the best angler in our family’s time had to be Great Great Uncle Frank. We have pictures of him handling several large muskie, stringers of smallmouth, and a human-sized wahoo from Florida, where he also fished. He used bait casters and oiled silk and catgut and wooden lures and plugs.

Another Uncle described him as a water genius. In his later days he became legally blind but he still took out the skiff  every day and tended to his minnow traps and fished. He’d find his way by shadows based on time of day and the sounds the rapids and current made in different stretches of the river. Makes the thought of using a fish finder seem a little bit like cheating.

6 thoughts on “Old School”

  1. Great pic and story. Thanks for the use of the word “plugs.” I pitch plugs into lake Erie nearly every morning, weather permitting. Screw crank baits, swim baits, topwater lures. They’re all big stinkin’ PLUGS.

  2. Great story. Reminds me of the stories my dad told me about my Grampa that fished around Long Island NY 1900 to 1950 and passed away in 1960. I was given some of his tackle when he passed but being a kid I ended up breaking his cane rods and bending his metal ones and loosing all his tackle that was mostly home made. I have one small lure left that I keep in my tackle box but never use. I remeber seeing pictures of big fish in his house when I was 7 (the year he died) but they must have been thrown out because I checked to see if any relatives had them with no luck.

    I wonder what he would think of fish finder or my invention the BulletBobber. He was the only one in my family history that loved fished besides me and his pictures and tackle are what got me started. I have son that I took fishing and noiw he takes me sometimes. He says I’m old hat because I use closed face real.

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