While I am a pretty good football fan, once my local teams have been eliminated from the quest for the Super Bowl, I’d rather go fishing than watch some other teams spar in the Super Bowl. If you stop and think about it, there are almost always no crowds out on the water on Super Bowl Sunday. You’ve got the lake or stream pretty much to yourself.
For example in January of 1984 I got together with Todd Vick of Manteca and while the whole world was watching the Raiders stomp the Redskins, we hopped into my old fishing van and headed for one of the foothill reservoirs to try to nail some of the spawning rainbows that head up the creeks draining into the lakes at this time of year.
As I’ve said in this space before, the best part about fishing for most any kind of fish is the anticipation that you might hook into a really big one. The old anticipation level really began to rise when I hooked a beautiful rainbow in the first hole. Since these are spawning fish, I released the feisty male after placing the tape on him to determine that he was over 15 inches long. From then on, we had visions of hooking into that really big one we had come for. As we approached each hole, I imagined the five-pounder I was going to catch, and was wondering how I was going to explain the taxidermist bill to my wife. Such was not to be, since we only caught one more fish the rest of the day and he was only an eight-incher. Oh well, like I said, it’s the anticipation that makes it so much fun. Besides, it wasn’t nearly as crowded as those darn Super Bowl Parties.
On another Super Bowl Sunday, my buddy Bob Snell and I decided to float the Stanislaus River in a canoe from the Orange Blossom Bridge to the City of Oakdale. We had a great time, caught a few fish and never saw another angler the entire day. In addition I made one of the greatest shots with a .22 rifle of my entire life. As we were going through a rapid, Bob spotted a grey squirrel running along the bank near us. I dropped my canoe paddle and picked up my AR-7 survival rifle and dropped the squirrel with one shot. A moving squirrel from a moving canoe! I couldn’t do that again in a hundred years. We pulled ashore and built a streamside fire for a lunch of spit-roasted squirrel. Great lunch!
If you want to avoid crowds in the great outdoors, Super Bowl Sunday might just be a great chance to so.
Until next time, tight lines.
Don Moyer is a longtime Central Valley resident and avid outdoorsman. He contributes occasional columns.