The first long distance fishing trip 1951

Discussion in 'Sound Off' started by steve ypsi mi, Nov 14, 2007.

  1. Posted in the Mi Sporstman

    The first long distance fishing trip 1951
    After My dad died when I was 8 I didn't get to fish much but small ponds and creeks, He used to take us fishing In a Chevy panel Van to Ann Arbor ..

    I was tiring of fishing the small ponds
    I decided that I was going to make a long distance trek to the Huron river in Ypsilanti Mi to fish, I had been to Ypsi a few times on Friday nights with some one in the family that had a car.
    Friday nights in Ypsilanti was a big deal in the early 50's, all the stores stayed open late, there were no malls back then, Downtown Ypsi was where every one went.
    The Hardware was the place where I would drool looking at all the fancy casting rod's and Reels, boy they were beautiful, Red, blue and green handles and engraving of fishing scene's on the side plates, The Steel rods were a lot better than My Bamboo pole I had that cost about twenty five cents back then. The best I can remember the nice rods and reels were some where around 4 to 8 dollars for the ones that had a level wind on them, the others didn't have the level wind and were cheaper, but the price of the level winds were way out of my reach. .
    The second place that held my interest was The five & Dime store, I Believe it was later to become K Mart. Boy the things in there, they were cheap by today's standards but even five cent's was hard to come by back then and parent's didn't buy a lot for the kids.
    The one thing I always did when we got to go to downtown Ypsi which wasn't that often was walk about 100 yards down the Michigan ave hill to peer over the bridge and look at the Huron river, some times it was colored green or blue and red, This was because the peninsula Paper company about 1 mile upstream would dump their dye's into the river, no one gave it a second thought.
    any way peering down off that bridge I could just imagine the huge fish that must live in there, I would day dream of catching small mouths 15 to 16 inches long or bigger on my 8 foot bamboo pole.
    Well in the summer of 1951 I was all most 10 years old I made plans to fish there, this was no small undertaking as I had to walk there and not knowing distance I figured that it was 8 to 10 Miles there, in reality it was more like 3 to 3 1/2 miles but I didn't know that.
    I figured that with the load of big Bass I was going to catch I would need transportation on the return leg of my trip, My mother had a 1939 Buick 4 door but parents didn't transport kids for foolish things.
    I hunted for a few days along the roads and found 3 bottles to turn in for cash, I got 6 cent's, now I had enough for the return fare on a bus for 5 cents and enough for a pink bubblegum,,, the came from downtown Ypsi to about a 1/2 mile from my home. .
    I dug worms the day before and had them in a Campbell's soup can , Got my bamboo pole out and checked it out, the Black String wasn't rotten, Found my extra hook , I was set.
    The morning of the trip I was really excited, I will get to fish the huge Huron River instead of the small creeks and tiny ponds.
    The morning of the trip I took a chunk of home made bread and grabbed My worms and Pole and made sure I had my nickel and penny, The penny would get me a Pink Bubblegum and the nickel would get me the bus ride back.
    I started out, day dreaming of the Big bass I was going to catch, maybe even a pike, the trip went fairly quick as I was so excited, couldn't wait till I got to toss a worm in the river
    as I was walking up Michigan Ave I could see the Bridge over the Huron, Man I was excited.
    Arrived and climbed down the hill to get to the river, I looked around and decided.I would fish under the bridge, the sun had come out and it was hot being mid July and beside's they had big rocks under the bridge to set on and big rocks to keep the dirt from washing the dirt from the pileing's .
    I quickly baited up the hook with a worm from the can and swung it out as far as it would go which was about 12 to 16 feet out figuring the big bass were way out.
    Well the current was fast and I didn't own a sinker it would wash down stream to fast I wasn't doing much good so I started dropping the worm behind the rocks where it would stay for a minute or so, about the second drop, I felt a thump thump thru the bamboo Pole , I reared back and had a fish on, that skinny Bamboo pole was bent over, I quickly got the fish to the bank and it was what we called a Red Eye about 9 inches long (rockbass) , nice start, I put it on the Kite string stringer I had made, Tied a stick cross ways for the end and another piece of willow to stick thru the gill.
    as the hours passed I was doing all right but no Big small mouth, The red eye was about the biggest one I was to catch, caught some Catfish (bull heads) and some sunfish, I had about 12 to 15 on the stringer and I was getting tired, I thought I better go so I could catch the bus, didn't want to miss the last one.
    I walked up the Hill to the Bus stop and waited about 15 minutes and the Bus stopped , The driver opened the Door and I Held the bamboo rod in front of me to clear the turn I had to make getting on and the driver had to duck down so I could get in, I shifted hands to hold the stringer with the dozen fish on the stringer and the pole in one hand so I could get the nickel out and give the driver, The Driver smiled and asked where I was getting off? I said Spencer and Holmes, that was as far as the bus went, about a 1/2 mile from my house. I laid the pole on the floor running down the aisle and put the fish on the floor between my feet so no one would step on them.
    Not many people got on the bus, there was maybe 5 total, each time the bus stopped the window's were open but the you could feel the heat , it was about 88 to 90 I would guess, when the bus started moving that air sure felt good, no air conditioning in bus's back then. I was glad I picked up bottles for the return trip, it would have been really hot walking back.
    My mother was happy to get the fish, she cleaned them, I didn't like the smell or taste of fish.
    In the next days I thought one Day I will be able to buy one of those Fancy rod's & Reels at the hardware and then I could cast out in the river and catch the Really big fish..
    Funny looking Back now I doubt a driver would let you on a bus carrying a 8 foot bamboo pole much less some slimy fish on a stringer but those days were diffront..
  2. Always and excellent read Steve :wink:......

    It's amazing how the price of everything is now from back then....