Thursday, August 11, 2011

You can see fish in the river, how do we catch them?

After an exciting day in Chattanooga we headed toward the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  We didn't quite make it to our destination so we stopped in a town called Sevierville.  It's the home of Dolly Parton.  I had no desire to go to Dollywood and the kids know nothing about it.  All the kids wanted was a hotel with a swimming pool.  The last two nights we've been in places without a pool.  Sure, let's find something cheap and with a pool.  We did. 
We walked to dinner and after dinner stopped over a bridge that crossed the French Broad River.  Looking over the railing I could see a huge fish several feet long.  There were many other fish and a turtle was floating down the river!  What a sight!  So I asked the question, "how can we catch fish?"
Girl answered with our fishing poles.  Those are in California.  How are we going to catch the fish?  Boy said we could use a fishing line.  That sounds good.  Where would we get fishing line?  After a few long seconds he shouted with our paracord!  Wow, I think he's got it.  OK, we've figured out how to make the fishing line, what about a hook? 
Boy said we could buy one.  No, how do we make one?  Girl wanted to know if we could make a hook out of leaves.  No but there are many ways we can make hooks.  You can take a piece of barbed wire and use the barb for making a hook.  You need a pair of needle nose pliers but if you have your Leatherman or other handy tool on you that won't be an issue.  What if you don't see any nearby barbed wire fences? You can bend small nails or pins. You can take a piece of flint or chert rock and knap it into a fishhook.  Too hard for me to do, I'm not a flintnapper. 
Are there any thorny plants nearby?  If so you can cut the stem of the plant and the thorn and use that as your hook.  I think my favorite though is the carved wooden gorge. You take a small piece of wood and make it sharp on both ends.  You make a small notch in the middle for your line.  You cover the whole thing with your bait going lengthwise.  This way the bait covers the wood gorge and your line.  Once the fish swallows the bait the gorge will hook itself into the mouth or throat of the fish. 
I've made a gorge and also a barbed wire hook.  Both have caught fish for me.  Of course I'd rather just gill net the fish.  Easier! And another good use for paracord. 
What do you put on your hooks?  You don't really have to dig up your garden and get those valuable earthworms.  Grubs that you find around rotten logs and under rocks make delicious fish bait.  So do grasshoppers, crickets, and other creatures you can catch. 

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