Last March 2015, I lost my father to a stroke. I can't remember the exact details but from what I remember I think he had a piece of paper in his pocket with your name on it and he might have seen you speak that day or sometime earlier that week. I think my sister in law reached out to you based on what she found. She sent me copies of both your books. It wasn't until just recently I was able to read them, I assumed they would bring up too many memories that I wasn't quite ready for.
My dad's farm is located outside Cazenovia. I've fished there since I was a kid and the few chances I get to go back there, I always walk down to the bridge and throw a line in there. I've caught everything from that bridge: Walleye, bass, panfish, suckers, carp, and trout. When I was younger I would stay up there one week a summer with my Grandma and fish nonstop. I would venture upstream in hopes of finiding trout, my dad always told me stories of trout up in the hidden holes. A few times he'd drop me off a few miles upstream and I'd spend a summer day making my way back fishing along the way.
It's been almost 30 years since I've ventured upstream more than the first bend. Your books have inspired me to get back to fishing that stream and venturing up farther looking for those hidden holes. Only my oldest son has the patience and dedication to fish more than 10 minutes without getting bored and giving up. I can't wait until we can make a trip back and spend a day fishing, this is something I've let the struggles of life prevent me from doing and I've let the same struggles keep me from showing him. Your books have given me perspective and rekindled my passion for fishing the small Wisconsin streams. I felt I needed to email you and thank you. I don't know how much we'll get in the field or what species we'll pursue, but I can't wait to get back to the adventure of traveling upsteam excited to see whats around the next bend.
A quick trout story. This one doesn't have an exciting build up and fighting a monster trout, but that's what makes it interesting. I must have been 14 years old. It was spring and I was fishing down at the bridge, there is a rock ledge that consistently holds fish under it. The suckers were running, normally there isn't anyone fishing there but this evening there were two men pulling out suckers about one a minute. I baited my hook with a worm and moved from my normal spot because the two men were in it, I pulled a few suckers from the ledge and offered them to the two men. My fourth fish bit just like the suckers but had a little more weight. I pulled up a 21 inch trout, can't remember if it was a brown or brook. It gave no fight, I was able to pull it over to a spot where the rock edge was sloped and pulled it out of the water. Pulling a trout out of those waters, especially at the bridge, seemed to happen as much as seeing a white deer. The two men's eyes were huge, they just stared in amazement that a 14 year old fishing with a worm just pulled out a huge trout, feet from them. I'm sure that has been one of their monster fish stories, unfortunately they were just spectators that day.
Again, thank you for the inspiration your books have given me.