My route to Gaston’s White River Resort www.gastons.com took me through Mammoth Spring, Ark., headwaters of the aptly named Spring River.
I stopped along the river and made a few casts. The day was fairly warm and brightly sunny and my main purpose was simply to enjoy the river, any fish caught would be a bonus. A half-dozen cars were in the parking lot and several fishermen were scattered up and down the river. The majority were working the opposite bank.
A family of three were bank fishing. By all appearances it was a mom, son and grandmother. Mom was splitting her time casting her rod and helping the child cast his. But it was the grandmother figure who caught my attention. She was downstream a respectable distance from the younger woman and child, both of whom were wearing what you expect on a riverbank in March – generic jeans, shirts and jackets. The grandmother was clad in Capri pants and tan leather flats accented with small bows. No stockings or socks although in the fading afternoon light it was cool enough for boots. I couldn’t see her blouse or shirt because she was wearing a 3/4 length dress coat. But when she turned to retrieve a piece of tackle I noticed that she was wearing pearls. (To those of you who thought of June Cleaver, you’re showing your age or addiction to re-runs.) It is almost as thought she’d stopped off to catch a mess of trout for supper while on her way to church; it was about that time of day.
A guy in camo waders who was fishing the far bank slogged ashore and joined the family. He took over helping the youngster cast. I worked my way upstream of the group then down, catching one, losing another. The pearl lady hooked a trout and played the fish skillfully but lost it at the bank. She was fishing with a simple spincast outfit and cast with a sidearm motion – efficient and accurate. This is probably not her first time on a riverbank.
The family headed for the parking lot; the guy in the waders carrying a stringer heavy with trout. He and the pearl lady exchanged comments. He smiled and walked ahead with the spring in his step of a man who had enjoyed a successful afternoon on a beautiful river. They soon left.