The other national pastime
I distinctly remember fishing at Hawk Lake in Eagle when I was a little girl. As you’re driving to get on I-70 west from the Eagle exit, you will see what remains of Hawk Lake. It’s below and to the left of Burger King. There is no lake now. Development at Eby Creek Mesa and some beavers took care of that.
Hawk Lake was a quick and easy drive down a short dirt road. It was an incredible place to teach kids to fish. I remember when my dad took my sister and me for the first time. My hook flew through the air and missed my dad’s face by an inch. After a stern lecture on fishing protocol, I got the hang of it and loved it.
Eagle used to hold a fishing derby there. I remember winning a gadget that weighed and measured fish. One year I was named the fishing derby princess after reeling in a lucky catch.
The caves at Hawk Lake were cool, too. Once it turned dusky, you could walk into those caves and hear bats flapping their wings. Fish, bugs and bats all in the same area. I loved going there and I remember the boys my age really loving it.
Our oldest son caught his first fish when he was 4 years old. It was 17 inches long (we have the picture to prove it) and he ended up on 9 News’ fish tales. He’s now 7 and he hasn’t caught one like that since. When he does catch one, it doesn’t measure up to that first fish. He still talks about the excitement of reeling that fish in with his Uncle Ron and how happy they both were. I hope it happens again for him sometime soon.
I see a lot of fly fishermen and women out there, too. I don’t have a clue how to cast on fly-fishing, but that looks relaxing, as well. You have to be a much more strategic fisherman/woman. Eagle River Anglers in Eagle offers instruction on that. It definitely takes skill and practice. I’m the gal that casts a line, sets up the pole on a stick and kind of watches every once in a while for movement.
And I have caught a fish that way, too. Once, in Lake Powell, I was hardly paying attention and sun bathing with my pole started bouncing like crazy. I reeled in a huge suckerfish. Yeah, they’re gross, but it was still a rush to catch it. The thrill of catching a fish is unmatched.
Grabbing a worm, stabbing it through the hook and tossing your line in is fun. You never know what’s lurking underneath the water’s surface – it could be a huge rainbow or or another trout. Everyone from 2 to 102 years old can fish. It’s an inexpensive American pastime. We’ve all fished at one time or another.
You can combine fishing with boating, camping, hiking or biking. Fishing goes with just about anything. You only need a pole, some line and some bait. Oh! And some water.
The creeks, rivers and lakes are low. The drought has caused the levels to drop. If you go fishing, make sure to release your catches back into the water. But make sure you go fishing this summer. How long has it been?
Cindy Ramunno of Eagle writes a weekly column for the Daily.