Then I had a flash to the past and started thinking about my PaPa, Ernest Franklin Chenowith. He was my Mom's Dad and I loved him dearly.
I wish I could remember the first fish I caught fishing with my PaPa, but I can't. It just seems like he was always fishing with us. I do remember many, many trips with him and the good times we had.
I remember when I was 10 I had a new spinning reel and he took me to the "ponds" near the Grass Valley Highway. It was quite a walk and when we got out there I discovered my reel handle had backed itself off and was gone. I fished anyway and still caught a few. The man that owned the Western Auto store took a handle off a reel in his display case and gave it to me so I could fish while we were there. That was my first personal experience with outstanding customer service.
I also remember many trips to Rattlesnake Bar on Folsom Lake and stopping at the old store by the RR tracks for a strawberry pop. I remember Striped bass fishing with PaPa on the Sacramento River.
I don't remember the last fish I caught with him either but it might have been at Fish Lake in Southern Utah when he and Granny came for a visit.
I do remember the last fish I caught at his house, or at least one of them. He had a spring pond and had put a few bluegills in it that he'd procured? from a local lake. I caught those bluegills over and over and the last time I fished there I was 18. The next time I was there was to visit him as he lay dying in the hospital.
I raise a toast to you PaPa. Thank you for making a little boy's time on the water more special!