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You got me thinking about Jackson again. Not so much about running out and going fishing..more so just the memories. That was the last place I took my Dad fishing before he died. Used to know a farmer up there, Vern, that lived along the road into Jackson. He sold self serve minnows. He didn't advertise, but I'd met him while fishing up there. You'd drive around behind the barn next to the silo and he had an old ice cream style cooler. You'd take how ever many minnows you wanted out of the cooler and leave whatever you thought they were worth in an old coffee can. Now that was then and this is now..but, I remember him saying how most people are honest and they'd leave more than he would have asked. I know we always did.

One trip, I'd hauled my boat up with a friend. It was early spring and when we got there the wind was howling with whitecaps rolling into the ramp. The rain was coming down sideways. Now, it's a long drive from Monument and I had a cooler full of minnows. Didn't want to go home so we pulled in to the parking area next to the canal.
This was before it became widely known that when water's running in the canal..so are the wipers. Well, we were sitting there in the Old Scout. Rain coming down in buckets and I said what the heck. I'm going fishing. My buddy Lou wanted no part of it.

I got out a minnow and rigged up a bobber. First cast a 12 lb wiper. Went to show my buddy, but he'd already seen and was out of the truck rigging up. Getting soaked just as I was. We caught more than thirty that day between eight and fourteen pounds. Just an epic day in the rain and mud. We'd each kept five. The ranger showed up and we'd filleted the fish at the canal. He'd asked how we'd done and we told him. He than told us how we weren't allowed to fillet fish at the lake because there was a 15 inch minimum size on the wipers and he needed to see the fish. I walked him over to the trash can and showed him the carcasses and he said, "Wow! no problem at all." "Just no more filleting at the lake." Once again, times have changed.

Well, we fished that canal for several years and I'll never forget Vern, rest his soul. I'd always stop and get some minnows even though I'd quickly learned that twisters worked just as well. Now and then, I'd run into Vern. But more often than not, I wouldn't. But without fail, every year Vern would call me whenever they turned the water on in the ditch and I'd come running. If it was February, the wiper would run..March..April. It wasn't so much the time of year. It was always when they turned on the water. Wiper are just naturally drawn to that running water. Ah, times have changed. Over the years, everyone found out about it..They didn't stock as many wiper and I quit fishing Jackson.

Well, I've rambled long enough. But one thing I'll always remember is my Dad sitting in that lawn chair next to the canal. Some book In his hand. Not so much fishing...just sitting in the sunshine drifting off as he read. I remember walking over, waking him up, and showing him another wiper I'd caught, asking if he'd like to fish. I'll never forget what he'd said, "Dave, I've never been much of a fisherman, but I've always enjoyed the time we've spent fishing together. It's always been about the time together. The fish...They never really mattered. l
 

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Great stories Hobie. Gotta enjoy the time we have with those we love. Lord knows that time is always too short.


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Jackson used to be my favorite wiper lake in the 90's. Grew some really nice wipers in the ten to fourteen pound range. I haven't fished it in several years, but from what I understand the walleyes have come on strong in there...still not enough wipers.
It got a huge dose of wiper the last two years:biggrin1: Should be really good in a couple of years. They want a 60/40 walleye/wiper mix there.

I haven't fished there in 15 years? We have a CWA tourney there this summer and I am looking forward to it.
 

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Nice
Pound for pound wiper are the best fighting fish.
Would love to get into them again.
Use to catch them at union, but thats been a while back.
Not sure how its fishing any more.
 

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. But one thing I'll always remember is my Dad sitting in that lawn chair next to the canal. Some book In his hand. Not so much fishing...just sitting in the sunshine drifting off as he read. I remember walking over, waking him up, and showing him another wiper I'd caught, asking if he'd like to fish. I'll never forget what he'd said, "Dave, I've never been much of a fisherman, but I've always enjoyed the time we've spent fishing together. It's always been about the time together. The fish...They never really mattered. l

Good stuff Hobie :thumb:
 

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Great read Hobie!
When we lived in Greeley, we fished the canal quite a few times & you are spot on about the running water!! White twister tails is all we every used, would snag some pretty big shad too:biggrin1: It's been a long time now, but they used to set up cones on the ice, off of the damn, marking an area you could ice fish. Would catch lots of wipers using silver/orange kastys. Was a blast with reels screaming, bringing them through the ice :thumb:
 

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Another great Hobie story! Ya gotta love trusting people, kinda restores your faith in humanity. In one of the canyons I like to ride there a house that has a cooler at the end of the driveway with a "Goat Cheese for sale" sign on it. Inside there's some goat Cheese on ice and a money bag. I always stop and get a couple packages. Up on the Grand Mesa on the road to Vega Reservoir there are always a couple of places that have a fridge at the end of their driveway selling worms.
 
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