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The lure of nostalgia

August 16, 2009
By BILL HARDING

Last week I took a nostalgic trip down memory lane. We have been trolling with limited success and I want to find a different lure; one I hoped would have me catching fish after fish. Once I found this special lure I could be a hero or a villain. Those with whom I shared my secret would call me hero. Those left out would call me all sorts of names, including villain.

The search for the perfect trolling lure began with my older tackle boxes and I quickly realized just how old the tackle boxes and I were. Times have changed and so have the lures. To prove how old I am, I can remember when you could tell at a glance if a car was a Ford or a Chevy. Today they all look much alike, and so do the lures.

There was a time when any fisherman could spot a Jitterbug, Crazy Crawler or River Runt Spook. A Johnson Silver Minnow was a silver spoon. A Dardevle (and my spelling is correct) had red and white stripes.

When I opened my old tackle box I found a lot of old friends. I had caught fish on these lures and wondered if they would work again. They should at least provide the fish with something different than a Hot N' Tot.

One box contained a Lazy Ike. This was a good lure as was the similar Beno. I had a few of each of these lures. I also found a few Flatfish and I have even caught carp on Flatfish lures. Less recognizable was an L&S Sinker. I don't remember this lure, but it sure looks good. Have you ever used an Arbogast Mud Bug, or a Droop Snoop? Unfortunately, not all of the lures in my tackle box have their names printed or engraved on them.

These old lures look like they can catch fish, but can they be replaced? Suppose I hit on a one of a kind lure and fish just don't seem to be able to resist it? This would be great unless I get snagged and lose the lure. Finding the perfect one of a kind lure and then losing it would be devastating. I decided to check my fishing catalogs to see if these lures still exist.

Catalogs have page after colorful page touting lures that are sure to catch fisherman if not fish. There are few of the old standbys listed and that was when I noticed how many modern lures look alike. Maybe it is because these lures catch fish, but I kind of miss lures with a distinctive appearance.

I guess I will have to either be careful with my older lures, or leave them safe in my tackle box. I am not much of a collector in that I use what I collect. Fine old guns are meant to be shot and lures are meant to catch fish. Maybe some day I'll leave a rare lure worth thousands of dollars hanging on an underwater stump. Chances are that I will never know its value, but I will know if it catches fish.

My nostalgia trip continued when I saw some bluegills around the dock. I love to catch bluegills and I love to catch them on a flyrod. The problem was that I have not had my flyrod in my hands for several years. I was definitely out of practice.

Using a flyrod demands a certain rhythm and my natural rhythm disappeared along with Disco. I did manage to make a few casts before I hooked my shirt. Luckily, all I hooked was my shirt as I think it would be scary having Barb remove a hook from my hide.

Barb: "Here drink a shot of this. It will help kill the pain".

Me: "But that's just iced tea!"

Barb: "It's all we have. Now bite down on this bullet and stop whining while I get the pliers".

At least it was a small hook and I didn't tear the shirt. I finally got the rhythm down pretty good and caught a couple of bluegills and a small bass. Best of all I had fun with the flyrod and traveling down memory lane with my old lures. I need to do this more often.

 
 

 

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