George Block Column

Old age can wreak havoc on fishing

Old age can wreak havoc on fishing

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As we travel this trail we call life, we find it’s not easy to move past middle age and enter old age. Of course, the alternative is not so good, either, but someone once told me old age is not a bed of roses.


For instance, changing lures, which need to be tied on, creates a problem for old eyes when done during the evening hours. Back when I was younger, I could change a lure in a matter of seconds. Now, it takes me long hours just to get the darned line through the eyes of the rod.


I struggle for hours on end just getting a 4-pound line through the guides. Not only do I get frustrated, I am reluctant to change lures. I also avoid spots with things waiting to grab my spinner.


Deteriorating eyesight makes me a poorer angler than I was in my youth.


I have even tried that highly visible yellow line, and it does help. But am I the only thing that sees that yellow line in the water?


The fact I can see it makes me wonder if trout can see it too? It tends to play mind games with me.


On day last week, John Dino and I were discussing this problem and he came up with a brainstorm. Why not attach a toothpick or some such thing to the line and run them with string through the guides?


I couldn’t find a toothpick in the house, but I did notice a wire bread wrapper. It just might work.


There is an advantage to the wire rather than other things. It is easy to attach to the wire simply by twisting it on.


It works.


I think I’ll market it as John’s wire poke-it-through fishing helper. Save those bread ties.


Another frustration occurs when trying to remove that little piece of line sticking out of the knot that attaches the lure or hook.


Nothing works better on these little knots than a pair of fingernail clippers.


Not too long ago, I spent a good amount of time – time wasted – working on a line. I finally got the hook and line joined and felt like celebrating when I noticed something wrong.


I had the hook attached to a piece of line broken off by someone else.


Almost anything can happen when joining line to line.


One time I had my usual struggle attaching a Rooster tail to my line. Finally, I thought I had it tied but felt I had better remove the tail piece. Out came the fingernail clippers, and with a quick click, I was done.


Trouble is, instead of cutting the tail piece of line, I had cut the line itself. I might be an elder, but I used a few choice words anyway.


As I said before, I did try the yellow line and have a brother-in-law who always used this type. Guess what? He caught a lot of trout from various streams.


I often teased him about the line on his reel, but now I understand.


As I heard my mother, who was 90 at the time, tell the minister, “Reach 90 wasn’t so hot because all of her brothers were dead, as were their wives. The same could be said of her friends.”


The same can be said of fishing. You have the time to go fishing, but it equals out because half of that time is spent attaching the hook or lure.


• The Pennsylvania Game Commission is looking at allowing Sunday hunting again.


It will eventually come, and if they open deer season on Saturday as proposed, Sunday hunting makes sense,


Without Sunday hunting, we would have the situation that we now have in bear season, which many resent. You open the season on a Saturday, then spend Sunday twiddling your thumbs.



George H. Block writes a Sunday Outdoors column for the Observer-Reporter.


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