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Trot lining, A Lost Art

Know this has nothing to do with fly fishing but the river is flooded, it's raining outside and felt like sharing a nearly forgotten way of life.

My family was poor country folk from southeast Oklahoma, from both sides of the family my parents were the first generation not to have share cropped or worked in the logging woods. Most worked in the oilfields and things were better, but tough times were still a vivid memory and the wolf new the trail to our door. Cash money was guarded for the next depression or work ending injury. We were not carpenters by trade but built our homes, grew huge gardens and raised chickens for meat and eggs. Fishing was a big event away from the mundane of everyday life, but even still there was expectations. Hushed whispers of ones ability to provide could mount if fish weren't on the big platter for supper.

Granpa would take 5 days from work every summer to go fishing on one of the rivers down in the mountains and when I had learned how to swim (age 5) was allowed to go with him. By age 7 he judged me experienced enough to take the boat and run the lines at night by myself (the ones visible from camp anyway), reckon he was right because there was never an incident or close call. Our 10' johnboat was homemade using sheets of aluminum from the towns newspaper printing press and we made a die to cast our own rivets. A Folgers coffee can for bailing and two paddles in case of motor failure was standard equipment. It would take two days to pack and catch enough bait for the trip. Granpa would take 5 gallon buckets and make round trays to fit every 2 inches inside up to the top, we would then fill each tray with crawdads and leaves, keeping them in the shade with a water drip for moisture. We would fill two sometimes 3 buckets full and if lucky would seine some < 2" and use them to catch Kentucky browns (small mouth bass).
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