This week’s story from Keith is more of a story than a McGill memory, but we thought you might enjoy it.
By Keith Gibson
The shade of the large cedar tree was a relief to the young lads, after the long hike over the mountain from McGill. The end of their trek was the cold waters of the Duck Creek stream, that was just a few more yards down the hill. They all had visions of large rainbow and German brown trout in their creels to show the folks back home.
They just started to continue when John pointed to the car partially hidden in the willows near the creek. They all froze in place as they recognized the car. It belonged to Dean Murphy of McGill. Dean was a master at catching the most and largest fish of anyone in the area. He always claimed that his success was due to an old, Lone Ranger, mask that he always wore to cover his face. He claimed that fish do not like the looks of human faces.
We actually felt that he had a secret bait that he made from various insects and other unknown ingredients. Several McGill folks claimed they had seen the bait.
Dean always denied that he had such a bait.
He was just getting out of his car so we stayed hidden by the tree.
It was our lucky chance to see just how he does catch so many fish.
The first thing he did was to stand on the front bumper and look all around to make sure he was alone. Convinced that no one was around he donned the Lone Ranger mask and moved to the back of the car.
There, he opened the car trunk lifted out the tool box, along with his fishing creel and set them on the ground. He took a Prince Albert can out of the creel and put it in his shirt pocket. That Prince Albert pipe tobacco can, was the epitome of all bait cans.
Next, he took a measuring tape from the tool box. Then with the creel and the tape he headed for the stream. He didn’t have a fishing pole. Had he seen us and was just fooling around or was this his secret method.
He walked down the creek to a likelylooking, fishing hole. He wet his finger and held it up in the air. He was checking the direction of the slight breeze near the creek. It was blowing toward the stream and so, utilizing the tape, he measured an exact distance from the stream and set the creel down. Next step was to open the lid and dump some of the stuff in the Prince Albert can into the creel. Moving quickly, he concealed himself in the nearby bushes. What on earth was he doing?
He must have seen us and was trying to flush us out of hiding. Then it happened right before ourastonished eyes.
Fish started leaping into the air and they seemed to be trying to locate something. Several small fish leaped out of the creek in the direction of the creel,landing on the bank and then flipflopped back into the water.
The slight breeze was carrying the scent of the bait towards the creek. Soon a beautiful 14 inch Rainbow trout shot into the air, did a perfect somersault and landed in the creel.
Dean rushed out of the bushes and closed the lid on the creel. Convinced that this nice trout was the only keeper in that hole, he kept moving up the creek and in a short time had his limit of large trout.
He knew exactly how many inches from the creek to place the creel to get the biggest fish. The smaller ones couldn’t make the long airborne trip to the creel.
Wow, it wasn’t the mask, after all. It was the world’s greatest bait. No wonder he kept the formula a secret. No one ever managed to get it.
He took it to the grave. We had actually witnessed the greatest display of trout fishing in history, but nobody would believe us kids. We did manage to find out years later that Dean was highly sensitive to the sun, which was the reason for the mask.
Even so, many of us tried the mask thing but it didn’t help.
We got a lot of laughs from our friends about wearing a Lone Ranger mask to go fishing. We also tried many combinations of insects and that didn’t work either.
Dean was truly the master fisherman and had no equal.