Fishing at Forest Lake LLC

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DB Crouper

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There's too much bad news today. To get my mind off of a life cut short, I found myself daydreaming about an extrordinary fishing adventure from my distant past. I need to tell it quickly, before it is pushed aside from the archives of my mind, which feel like the gas gauge needle on my deisel pickup, after I have spent an extra 3 minutes topping it off. Overfull. I can only hope that the statute of limitations has expired on this particular misadventure, that ownership of Forest Lake LLC has changed hands, and that Bill Fackerall isn't an OFF member. I'm fairly sure I'm okay on the statute of limitations, as 48 years is a long time, and I'm probably okay on the change of ownership, as the scene of the crime was called Riverside Trailer Park back then, long before " trailer park" was an insult. Bill, you're not out there, are you?

It was the summer of 1963, late June. School was out, junior high behind us forever, our freshman year of HIGH SCHOOL squarely in our sights. What a glorious and anxiety filled time to be alive. My current best friend, Bill, and I decided to take a break from surfing the Cove in Seaside, and take a little overnight camping trip to Peterson's point, a mere two miles south of town. Actually, the campout was precipitated by our desire to get a closeup look at Lori Macmillen, the cutest girl going, in her natural environment. We brought our fishing gear with us, as we set up camp on the Necanicum River, across the highway from the Riverside Trailer Park, AKA Forest Lake LLC. As soon as our old rancid canvas tent was erected, and sleeping bags unrolled, we sent Bill's dad on his way, with instructions to pick us up the following evening. As his Chevy station wagon disappeared around the first curve of Peterson's Point, we were on the move to the Riverside Trailer Park, to stroll nonchalantly past Lori Macmillen's doublewide, 50 or 60 times. We didn't quite get there however, as we were waylaid by the most amazing sight. The Park manager was tossing some kind of pellets into the manmade lake, around which the Park was designed. He was a large menacing man, with a black beard, and he stood on a little dock that jutted into the lake, directly behind his single wide trailer, 20 feet away. As each handful of pellets splashed down, a swarm of 5 pound and larger rainbow monster trout thrashed the glassy surface, like Pirranahs on a wildabeast. We promptly forgot about Lori Macmillen.

Bedtime
 
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DB Crouper

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Chapter Two

Our best laid plans changed in the flip of a fin. Cute girls where plentiful, but fish like these were previously unknown to us. We sat on a patch of grass that passed for a campground park, and watched Igor, the park manager, chuck multiple handfuls of pelletized fish food far and wide. Hundreds, yea thousands, of Kamloops rainbows created a cauldron of roiling water as each handful met the water. A few residents appeared, to watch the show, and murmuring among themselves, I could only imagine they talked of secret and devious plans to partake of this fishery. At least I know that's what Bill and I were murmuring about.

A plan was hatched, elegant in its simplicity, but a bit clumsy in its execution. The lake was a square acre, about 200' per side. Mobile homes lined the east and south shores, with the manager's abode in the southeast corner of the lake, with its little dock and dockhouse protruding into the pond about 25 feet. That was where the fish were fed, and that's where we planned to fish. The west shore of the pond was consumed by trees and brush, and so we planned that shoreline as our staging area once darkness fell. The north shore was next to the entrance road to the Park, a gravel road barely wide enough for vehicles to come and go at the same time. There were about 30 homes in the Park, and we planned to stay deep in cover until every light in the park was out.

We scrambled back across the highway to our makeshift camp, and rigged up some bobbers and #4 snelled hooks with a single split shot on our little spinning gear. We were a little worried about our 8 lb test mono, but that's what we brung, and so that's what we danced with. It was an hour until dark, and anticipation, trepidation, and nervous perspiration kept my appetite at bay. Bill, on the other hand, roasted about 6 hot dogs, demolished a big bag of chips, and slugged a whole quart of Cragmont Strawberry soda. He was a way better criminal than me, and relished these moments. Peer pressure, however, drove me on, and I tied several more rigs and tore nightcrawlers in half, as Bill gorged himself. It seemed like he was applying caloric war paint, but there were overtones of The Last Supper or a condemned man's last meal. Once it was completely dark, we grabbed our gear, and headed across the highway, Bill leading and me following. He was in his glory, and I was flat out scared.

More later
 
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DB Crouper

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It was 10 PM, and finally dark. We scrambled into the heavy brush, a mere 15 feet from the road where it entered the park. Every 10 to 15 minutes, a vehicle would enter or exit the park. By midnight the space between cars was more like a half hour. Bill was ready to fish. I was not. I held him at bay until 1 AM, but could hold him back no longer. All the lights in the park were extinguished, and traffic had ceased. We were diagonally across the lake, 400 feet from the dock, and we grabbed our gear and covered the distance in silent jogging mode.

The dock was exposed to the headlights of any arriving vehicle, and had nothing to hide behind. Our plan, if necessary, was to lie flat, hoods up and motionless, if a car came home late. Hopefully only inattentive drunks would be on the road this late. We dropped to our knees on the wooden dock, probably 25' from the sleeping park manager, Igor. I opened the cottege cheese container full of dismembered worms, handed one to Bill, and baited my hook. We had our bobbers set at 2' as the fish always fed on the surface. We flipped our bobbers about 20' toward the center of the lake, side by side. Things seemed to be going well. 15 minutes passed. Things weren't going well. Not a nibble! What was wrong?

Inspiration pounded me between the eyes. I shuffled from the dock back to the gravel drive, and from the road's shoulder, scooped 2 handfuls of loose gravel. Bill followed my lead, and we returned to the dock. We had 4 handfuls of gravel, 3 more than we needed. I heaved a handful of small rocks into the general area of our bobbers. The water boiled and churned, and our bobbers danced wildly together, then disappeared in the inky darkness. Double fish on!! We each had a 5 lb. gyrating acrobatic hand fed rainbow trout, hooked up on gear made for 10" planters. I never realized how much noise a big aerial fish could make. The splashing and slapping of the battle reverberated in the night, but we were commited now. And the decibel level in the water was indescernible when compared to the sonic booms that a still fresh 5 lb trout can create, as it beats itself silly on a wooden dock. We pounced on our respective trophy's, banged their heads to quiet the pounding, and I was ready to leave. Not so, Bill. No lights came on, no cars came or went. We rebaited our hooks, threw out a second handful of gravel, and then topped the gravel with our bobbers. Same result! Bobbers down! Two fish on! Lots of noise, but we were both caught in the moment now.

Finish later
 
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Slick

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My mind shifted down. Too much fishing lately. Thanks for the reminder. I'll try to get back to it tonight.
Too bad you aren't having as much luck as the two kids in your story. Great story so far. Let's get to the rest old man.
 
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DB Crouper

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We landed our second set of 5 lb rainbows, yarding them onto the dock, pouncing on them to quiet the ear pounding drumming and slapping. we bonked them and strung them on our respective stringers. Rebait, cast, bobber down! Three each, then four. Each round punctuated by the explosive chaos of the wildly violent struggles of the dying fish. As we each strung up our fifth fish, a light flickered on inside Igor's trailer, illuminating the single rear window, shade drawn, with a malevolant glow. Without a word, I grabbed my pole and stringer of fish, flew from the dock, and across Igor's back lawn, to the northerly stretch of gravel which led from the park. I assume Bill did the same, as he was only one stride behind me. As we made it to the road, A bright exterior light flashed on, and we heard the slamming of Igor's front door, as it swung wide open and smacked into the trailer's side.

I chanced a glance over my shoulder, and saw an image that so terrified me, I vowed then and there to live a virtuous life. For the most part, I have succeeded. Not so much, Bill, as his stint in a Mexican prison would later attest, but that's a different story. What I saw, 15 yards behind me, and closer to Bill, was the giant, Igor, black bearded, clad in red flannel underwear and deer skin slippers, pumping his massive arms, a determined and ugly anger etched into his red and fleshy face. He was gaining momentum and speed as the three of us traversed the 200' northerly stretch of the park's road, myself in the lead, spurred on by absolute terror, with Bill only five feet behind, and Igor in the show position a mere thirty feet behind Bill, as we neared the 90 degree westerly turn in the road. The only sounds in the moonlit night were the scratchy footfalls of three runners, and the soft sliding noises of the fish tails in the road, at the end of our stringers. Our bobbers bounced wildly in the air from our pole ends.

As we neared the turn in the road, my years of Little League baseball caused me instintively to veer in a wide arc to my right, so as to round the left turn at full speed, as though I had hit a double into the gap. Bill followed my path, rounding first, heading for second base. I think the fact that Igor never had opportunity to play American sports quite possibly saved a life or two that night. His massive bulk, full of speed and momentum ran straight into the turn, totally misjudging the laws of physics, and as he attemted to make the turn, his feet started an out of control slide, then pitched out from under him, his huge body following, he slid feet first, completely across the road, and still had a fair velocity to carry him deep into the evergreen blackberry patch that the residences of the trailer park frequently picked.

I took a long look over my shoulder as Bill and I exited the trailer park. In the moonlight, I could faintly see Igor still struggling to extricate himself from the painful briars. Bill pulled along side me. We slowed to a steady pace, as we still had a couple hundred yards to traverse before we reached the highway, then another hundred yards north on the highway, and into the heavy brush to our secluded campsite. We kept looking back. No sign of Igor. We reached the highway, and ran diagonally across to the west shoulder, only a hundred yards from safe cover. Just as we approached the overgrown trail down to our secret place, we heard a roaring and sliding cacophony from behind us. We dove into the brush and looked back. High beam lights danced crazily in the night sky, as Igor's huge Chrysler, complete with giant tail fins, exited the trailer park at warp speed, heading west toward the highway. We crawled deeper into the brush, about 25' from the shoulder, and lay flat and still, as he power slid onto Highway 101,


and burned rubber toward us. He flew by, engine screaming, and continued north toward Seaside, two miles away. We watched his tail lights disappear around the corner in Peterson's Point, and just lay there, to exhausted to talk. A minute later, we heard the whining of his racing engine returning, and he passed by heading south. I had never seen a hundred miles an hour until now.

This back and forth patrol by Igor contined for about a half hour, with each round declining in speed. Igor was getting tired. Finally he turned back into his little empire and rolled slowly into and through the park, to his little trailer. Bill and I continued down the trail, to the river, and cleaned our ten giant trout. We trudged to our tent, put the fish in the cooler full of ice, and slid into our sleeping bags. It was 3 AM. I slept, fitfully, frequent and obvious nightmares attacking my slumber. Bill slept peacefully.

We arose late and built a small fire. I was starving and we ate another pound of hotdogs, before going fishing for the planted trout we had come for. We rigged up with split shot and #12 single egg setups, and by the late afternoon, each had a limit of 10 planted rainbows. We cleaned them, tossed them into the cooler with their large cousins, and took down camp. Bill's dad showed up shortly, and we loaded our camp into the back of his station wagon. Bill and I carried the cooler last, and opened it to show his dad its contents.

He was appropriately amazed. As he was a popular local barber, we had to swear him to secrecy. Secret spot and all, we told him. Tell nobody about those huge fish from the Necanicum river. He finally agreed, but you could tell he really wanted to brag us up. We also were aware of the fact that he cut the hair and trimmed the beard of Igor every couple weeks. I was away to college four years later before I finally quit worrying about that.

End
 
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Slick

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Rainier Oregon
Great story Don. Reminds me of a catfishing expedition to a posted pond one night. The story was very similar.
 

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