Growing up my brothers and I fished in small creeks around our house. We never found that huge fish much bigger than a small mouth bass but seen lots of them swimming in the creeks. We would gather our poles and tackle box and ride our bikes down to the creek a mile or so away trying not to bust our butts and wreck the bike holding onto a rod and tackle box while driving the bike. The one creek we fished was down a steep hill and if you were not careful you would wipe out going down that hill (it happened to me more than once). We would arrive at the creek and climb under or over the old electric fence and on occasion get zapped by it. Worst thing was to get zapped if you were climbing over it and unfortunately that happened a few times.
The fence was up because Mr. Cecil had land all along the creek where his cows stayed and he allowed us to go fishing as long as we left the cows alone. I love cows and know they are sweet animals, but when they feel like you are threatening their little ones or a bull is around they will charge you and can mess you up. We would walk for miles fishing every little hole we could find and stop when we saw a fish move in the water and generally not catch them. Nothing more frustrating that dropping a big old earth worm right in front of a fish that is spawning and they just look at it. We just knew for sure we would catch them but the chase was fun and frustrating at the same time.
Miles of walking with an occasional stop to just get in the creek and take a swim in a hole a few feet deep and walk in the water kicking it on each other. We knew where the good swimming holes were but they changed with every storm depending on how much flooding happened and how much debris got washed down stream. We looked for fallen trees because that was where the bigger fish would lay and wait for small ones. The fish in creeks like to congregate around fallen trees and root systems. We caught some good catfish and sucker fish in those holes. We had to be on the look our for snakes also. Where I grew up we didn’t have cotton mouths but the copper heads and banded water snakes were mean rascals and would leave a mark for sure.
The most exciting thing we saw once was a big bull frog got caught by a copper head on one end and on the other was a king snake. That frog made the most awful noise I had ever heard in my life as the two snakes fought for that big old frog. The king snake won the battle when the copper head let go after being wrapped up by the six foot long king snake. The frog bit the dust (literally) and the the king snake went after the copper head and that was a heck of a fight also. I am thankful for Mr. Cecil allowing us to fish his small creek and spend time in the summer and fall just being boys. Getting into nature and finding creeks and rivers is in my blood now. I desire to have a home sitting on a river, creek or at least have a small brook running through the property.
Fishing small creeks and hanging out with my brothers and friends was some of the best memories of my life. Take care of small creeks, keep the clean and go explore them. You will be surprised how nice they are and the wildlife that supports it. Fish, deer, snakes, racoons, possums, foxes, bears, coyotes and even an occasional big foot might just be seen near a creek way back in the woods. The big foot is another story for another day!