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The Best Day of My Life - The Day I Learned to Fish By: Peter Stitcher

Before I learned to write, I learned to fish, and back in March of 1987 my Mom recorded what I self-described as the "Best Day" of my young life! It was my first trip to the "Cross Eyed Cricket" trout ponds outside of Knoxville Tennessee and it was an experience that forever changed the trajectory of my life. Having recently unearthed this little time capsule I felt that I had to share it and hope that it brings you back to the thrill of fish and amazing times spent with family and friends on the water.

"March 1997 - The best day of my life was when I went fishing at the Cross-Eyed Cricket. I was just 5 years old and I went with my Dad, my brother Michael, and my Mom. It was a hot, sunny day. I used a bamboo pole and I put corn on the hook by myself. We caught some Whoppers. I found a bunch of schools of rainbow trout and I threw my hook in. They bit it! The fish whipped his tail and splashed me all over. He had big teeth, lots of them. My Dad had to take him off the hook. We put him in a pail of water.
When we went home my Mom cooked our fish and hush puppies and apple fritters, and I love those apple fritters with sugar.
We didn't catch Walter, the biggest fish in the pool. This summer we're going to catch him!"

Here I am 35 years later, and I find that the excitement recorded after that first trout still resonates within my heart every time I pick up my fly rod! The water has always been a place that my heart has felt at home and is the medium in which some of my most cherished memories and lasting relationships have been recorded. While I never hooked "Walter" at the "Cross-Eyed Cricket" I still look for him every time I go fishing and I'm confident that this summer is the one that we're going to catch him! 

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