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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Friday, June 17, 2011


Have you ever had a certain smell or a photo trigger a memory?  Hopefully a pleasant memory?

Seems like it happens to me quite a bit.

Yesterday, while I was working on this dragonfly (photo at the bottom of this post), it made me remember how dragonflies always would light on the tip of a bobber when fishing.  And one thought led to another.

My Grandpa First taught me everything I know about fishing.  He didn’t have a boat, so we fished from shore with big old cane poles.  Being a little kid, I remember MY pole as being 3 times as long as I was tall.  I’m sure it wasn’t, but it seemed like it.  (Do they even make cane poles anymore??).

Grandpa taught me the best place to dig worms.  We’d go out with a couple of cleaned up tin cans and get a bunch of worms and head out fishing.  Seems like we caught an ungodly amount of bullheads in the Long Lake channel.  I never did learn how to take them off the hook short of swinging my pole around and hoping they’d fly off.  I saw Grandpa get stung a couple of times, to that cured me of wanting to learn that fine art.

Grandma was the fish cleaner, and boy could she clean fish…and she could cook them up pretty tasty too.

I always was fascinated by why dragonflies liked to land on a bobber (I must have been around 8 when we started fishing).  Grandpa told me it was because they were tired of flying and needed to rest…at which point I looked around at all the cat tails and marsh grass and wondered “huh??”.

We always made sure we had a little something to eat, which didn’t necessarily taste good after you’d been cutting worms in half with your fingernails or after you’d applied OFF to keep the bugs away.  Yep, OFF was made WAY back then.

Big difference in the OFF of yesterday and today…it use to come in little glass bottles and you smeared it on ya.  It was very oily.  Do you remember that?  (and during the summer months the village or city would come through town in the evening and spray for mosquitoes…”STAY INDOORS TONIGHT AND KEEP THE WINDOWS AND DOORS CLOSED BECAUSE WE WILL BE SPRAYING”.)

Grandpa took me ice fishing too.  He made me an ice fishing box to call my own so we’d both have something to sit on.  He showed me how to spud a hole through the thick ice and showed me how to keep corn borers warm in your mouth before putting them on the hook.  No, I never quite acquired that skill, never even tried that skill.  That was another, WHY???  They are just going to be put into the icy water anyway.  Well, it was easier to put a warm borer on the hook than a frozen one.

I have some very wonderful memories of fishing with Grandpa.  How did you learn to fish??



  1. Anonymous8:20 AM


    My father did the same with me.....on the same lake back in the late 60's. Wonder if we were every on the lake the same day.


  2. Cool effect on the dragonfly,did you use photoshop to do it? I just got Photoshop elements 9 but have to load it yet. I used to fish with my brother but didn't learn the good stuff until Paul and I were dating and he taught me how to really fish. Now we fish our lake all the time and I love it!

  3. I have my Daddy to thank for the fishing lessons ~ and I started out on a cane pole too:) I remember the OFF in a bottle and the streets getting sprayed at night too for the skeeters; but never did put the borers in my mouth to keep them warm, nor do I recall my Dad doing that. That must have been your G'pa's special trick:)
    Awesome dragonfly pic!

  4. Dave, you are from Colon? Could be we were on the channel at the same time. In the winter, we'd go out on the ice from one of the fishing ramps on Maple St (or is it Elm??)

    Retired One, thanks. Still learning and I don't have a very steady hand. I have Corel Paintshop Photo Pro 3X. I got it about a week ago...still confused...

    Mel, Grandpa's are great people to have in your life! Thanks for the comment on the "fly".

  5. Gary H / Battle Creek12:43 PM

    "Gone Fishin'" - Lynyrd Skynyrd (1999).....good song, of course anything by them is good.

  6. Gary H / Battle Creek12:45 PM

    Taught myself to fish when in Cub Scouts, been fishing ever since.

  7. Gary...can't get anything past you!

  8. Anonymous8:35 PM

    Cathy, How damn cool is that photo?! It looks like he is shooting off his own lights and making a shadow. Neat idea!

    Dick from Ft. Wayne

  9. Dave, thanks, I thought it was cool too! And I didn't think about it looking like he's making his own light, but now that you mention it....


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