First trout a memorable one

Bill HitsI’m not sure how old I was, but I was definitely knee high to a grasshopper. Mom, Dad, my brother Rick – that was our family back then. It was before David and Susan came along, so I was probably seven or so. The Hilts clan was camping in the Adirondacks and Lewey Lake in Hamilton County was our preferred destination. Those camping trips held many cherished memories. One in particular was my first trout. It’s a good time to share as we beging another inland trout opener.

My grandparents, Irvin and Dorothy Hilts, sold Scotty travel trailers. We had one of the small ones. Camping was an adventure in every sense of the word and each trip seemed to offer a different experience. Watching the black bears in the town dump, climbing Chimney Mountain, different fishing experiences … the list is a long one.

One particular trip was a picnic lunch we decided to take on one of the backwoods trails. I can remember that Dad’s car could only make it so far before we had to park and unpack. We still had a little bit of a walk to get to our destination – a secluded picnic spot along an obscure Adirondack stream. We were all by ourselves and as a young kid; the woods seemed mammoth.

I remember a picnic table being there and Mom started to set things up for lunch. I had brought my fishing rod and all I could think about was wetting a line. I threw a worm on the hook and cast down into the waters. The drop was five or six feet I would guess now, but it could have been only a couple of feet.

After a careful cast, I would try to watch my bait float down through the pools, but it was difficult with the high banks. I needed a better vantage point. As I scoped out the bank, I noticed a tree stump that extended over the bank – allowing for a better view of the water … and the fish. I decided it would be a great spot.

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