A Perfect KIlarc Morning

Kilarc Reservoir - CA (Shasta County)

The only girl in our group was Drew, age 10. She wasted no time in catching several trout on her own.
Photo Credit: John Higley

by John Higley

Folks who read my stuff know how much I enjoy fishing with kids. They are, after all, the future outdoors men and women, the people who will carry on the lifestyle we are living today. The kids I’ve been fishing with the most lately are my daughter Meredith’s seven year old twin boys Johnny and Jordan. Most recently their dad Robert and I took them to Kilarc Reservoir, near Whitmore. My daughter caught her first fish there when she was five or six and now her own kids are following in her footsteps.

I have to say that a good time was had by all on that recent Sunday morning. The trout were cooperative. With a little help from Rob and me both of the boys caught several, and they were still excited on the drive home.

Last week I told my friend Dave Fitzpatrick about that episode and he informed me that four of his own grandkids were, at that very moment, combing through his house looking for things to do. To Dave, and to me, it seemed like a few hours of fishing would tire them out, and be fun at the same time. And so it was that last Monday in mid morning we met at Kilarc to see if there were any fish left there after the most recent planting of trout by the CDFW.

It was pleasantly warm when we arrived, and there was a slight breeze rippling the water. That was a good omen as the bite is usually on in those conditions. That morning was not an exception to the rule. The kids’ lines were rigged with sliding sinkers held in place by swivels with three feet of leader below. Small treble hooks were adorned with garbanzo bean size gobs of orange Power Bait, which would float above the weedy bottom where the trout could see and smell it.

As soon as the lines were in the water the fish started biting. Ten year old Drew, the only girl in the group, landed the first trout like an expert. As soon as that fish was on the stringer seven year old Brady landed a similar fish with the brand new fishing rod he got for his birthday. Then young Jameson, who is only five, got in on the action and a few minutes later eleven year old Gavin, Drew’s brother, followed suit.

After a couple of hours we called it a day. The kids had a full stringer of pan size rainbow trout for dinner and that was all they could ask for. Their final act was to pick up after themselves and leave our spot cleaner than it was when we got there. Teaching responsibility is a big part of any outdoor activity, and great training for the kids.

As I’ve said many times in the past, Kilarc is an ideal place to introduce kids to fishing and, for that matter, to go fishing yourself now and again. The 4.5 acre impoundment is in a picturesque setting, the dirt road to that location is not bad, the water is readily accessible to young and old alike, and there’s always a place to stand or sit and wet a line.

With any luck at all, I’ll meet you there one of these days!

Author and writer John Higley is a resident of Palo Cedro. His articles have appeared in outdoor magazines hundreds of times and his columns appear regularly at myoutdoorbuddy.com. Higley has written four books the latest of which “Successful Turkey Hunting” was published in May, 2014 by Skyhorse Publishing in New York. This hard cover, full color book is being sold at Barnes and Noble Book Stores and on Amazon. Autographed copies are available direct from John Higley, P.O. Box 120, Palo Cedro, CA 96073. Cost is $28.95 postage paid.

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