Rain n Perch
Uncle Clifford often took me with him to various places. He wasn’t an avid fisherman and hunter like my Dad, but he was part of one of my best fishing memories. It was late spring and the weather was warm. The water in the lakes around Spokane were still cold due to low night time temperatures. Uncle Clifford decided he would like a feed of perch before the water warmed up. Perch are excellent eating when taken out of cold water. They get soft and lose a lot of taste when in warm water. My Dad was a trout fisherman and never fished for any warm water fish. Going perch fishing was a new experience for me.
Uncle Clifford took me to Liberty Lake because he heard it was excellent fishing this time of year. The lake was 700 acres averaging twenty five feet in depth. We rented a boat at the local marina and asked about the best fishing areas. The weather was overcast as we made our way out on the lake. The water was nearly calm and not many people were fishing. With the exception of a few nibbles, the bites were few and far between. After a couple hours of very slow fishing the wind started to stir and we got a couple fish. We were going to give it a while longer and head for home if fishing didn’t improve. The sky was turning dark and the winds increased.
Just as we were contemplating leaving a thunder shower moved over the lake. The darker the sky and harder the rain the more fish we caught. The thunder was loud, but we never saw any lightening. Uncle Clifford decided we’d keep fishing if the lightening stayed away. We caught so many perch we ran out of bait and had to make some from the smaller fish. We were having a ball. As soon as our bait hit bottom we would reel it up five or six feet and get a bite. The more it stormed the bigger the fish we caught.
The minute the rain shower passed the fish stopped biting. We had two stringers and a five gallon bucket full of nice sized perch. The tackle box and the small net were floating around in the several inches of water accumulated in the bottom of the boat. We were the only ones on the lake. We looked like a couple of drowned rats. It took well over an hour for Uncle Clifford to filet the perch at the marina cleaning station. Sometimes you just have to be dumb enough to stick it out and catch the fish.
The perch provided several great meals………..and the goosebumps from the wind and rain still return when recalling this adventure.