June 25, 1917 Difficult Trout

June 25, 1917

I was talking to Ed and Molly Colson this morning. They had a large number of guests coming in from Buffalo tomorrow and they wanted to serve them fresh caught trout. Unfortunately, they had little luck catching anything and Ed asked me if could try tonight. I said it would be my pleasure and they would have a dozen fresh trout by tomorrow.

Trout in Canoe Lake are difficult to catch at this time of year, either by angling or trawling. Catching by fly is a non-starter too. The only way to catch trout is with a night line.

The first thing  I had to do was to catch a couple of dozen minnows. This was easy enough to do with bread crumbs and a few tiny pieces of pork. Within the course of a quarter-hour I had a pail full of minnows and I was ready for the next stage of the venture.

I used my long trawling line – the copper wire. I unwound the wire and every five or six feet I put a line of three feet with a hook on the end. I put on fourteen lines in total. I knew of a good spot for trout. I took with me a half dozen short cedar logs, about eight-inches each. These would act as floats. I attached a line of about thirty feet to the end of the trawling line and secured this one with a stone. I unwound the line and  baited each hook-line with a minnow. Every five or six feet I attached a cedar log to act as a float. When I was finished unwinding the trawl line, I attached another 30 foot line to a stone. And there it was in the lake, the entire contraption – the night line.

I went back about 6 o’clock this morning, and sure enough the cedar logs were twirling and dancing like water striders. I pulled up the the trawling line and I had trout on twelve of the fourteen hooks. Two were lucky to have gotten away but the caught ones were a nice size. The largest almost two and half feet long. I put the dozen trout on a line and delivered to them Molly. She was most gracious and said she would arrange a credit for me at Annie Colson’s outfitting store.

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