Kelly Bostian: A wish for Christmas fishing
BY KELLY BOSTIAN Outdoors
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
12/25/12 at 5:29 AM
Go to Kelly Bostian's blog Original Print Headline: A wish for Christmas fishing
Today I would like to go back; back to a time when I was 5 years old and yet to catch a fish by myself, yet to own my very own fishing rod and reel. Back to when a simple package under a Christmas tree held a Zebco rod and reel and potential for a lifetime of outdoor enjoyment I could scarcely imagine.
If I were a youngster in Tulsa today, I would wish for that gift. If I was lucky enough to already have a fishing pole I would be wishing for the gift of time spent in the great outdoors with one of my elders.
Today we have willing trout ready to bite and a winter storm gathering with a promise of snow. Oh! What a Merry Christmas for us all, especially to children and to novice or new anglers.
Christmas Day is Opening Day at the Trout Pond For Tulsa, the aptly named program provided this year thanks to Trout Unlimited, Tulsa Fly Fishers, NatureWorks and Doe's Eat Place owner Richard "Skip" Long.
The pond is loaded up with fresh rainbow trout and located in The Gardens at LaFortune Park, at the corner of 51st Street and South Hudson Ave. - that's on the south side of 51st about halfway between Yale Avenue and Sheridan Road.
Today is Kid's Day at the pond. Adults can fish, but they must be in the company of a child. The pond provides a relatively easy in-town opportunity for someone to experience outdoors fun and an introduction to fishing. It's a pond for children, mostly, but the goal is simply to get people outdoors.
Few things are cooperative as a rainbow trout fresh from the hatchery, hungry and swimming around in relatively strange waters.
One of the first things any angler, any would-be outdoor enthusiast, learns is that the weather matters. Check the weather before you leave home for the trout pond today, but as of this writing a previous winter storm warning has been canceled. If forecasts hold true, the temperature should be near 30 with a rather nippy northeast wind.
When I was a kid this would have been the ultimate adventure. Weather always added to any trip. Bundle up! Prepare to meet the weather and conquer the pond! I'd have been so excited I wouldn't have been able to contain myself.
If it's already raining or snowing before you can leave the house today, by all means stay at home and stay safe. A coming storm is one thing; the beginning of a storm is another thing altogether.
If the weather holds, it will be worth the trip.
Cold as it will be, the pond should be mostly ice-free. Youngsters will get cold, so a short outing will be best anyway. Make sure you have a way to quickly warm up little fingers and toes. I'm thinking a Thermos with hot chocolate will be a must-have item. Willing trout should provide the chance for a few catches in a short outing of an hour or so on the water.
Cold as it will be, it will be smart to approach the pond today with a strategy - and pre-rigged rods - so you can get in, get out and get home with some fresh fish.
With a stiff north wind, this won't be the day to practice with the new fly-fishing gear. This is a day for kids with simple bobber-sinker-hook-bait setups. A piece of a bait worm, a bit of cocktail shrimp, corn, small jig, commercial "trout worm" or Berkley Power Bait dough molded around a salmon egg-sized hook on some 4- or 6-pound-test line will do the trick.
Suspend your bait under a small bobber. If it's a floating bait like the Berkley dough, add a split-shot sinker to hold it down, or just put it on a leader under a slip-sinker and let it float up from the bottom.
Either way, once you find the right depth to get the bait in front of the fish, you should start catching rainbows and creating Christmas memories that will last a lifetime.