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Another fish tale from ‘Where Trout Leap in Main Street’

Written by Dick Perue
The following letter to the editor appeared in The Saratoga Sun over 100 years ago on May 11, 1911:
    “Shall we Saratogians allow little old New York State to put over a fish story like the enclosed and remain silent?
    “What has become of our heavyweight fisherman? Is the ‘King Fisherman’ dead, or only married?...
    “The trout used to bite so voraciously in Saratoga that a good fisherman had to climb a tree to protect himself…
    “The story in the New York Sun is to the effect that a boy was leaning over the gunwale of a boat looking into the water, when a trout caught him by the nose and held on until the boy fell back into the boat thus securing a fine big trout at the expense of a bloody nose.
    “We rather think we can beat that. Ten or 12 years ago a boy of 12 wanted to go fishing and coaxed his father to allow him to take his rod and fine fishing outfit. A younger brother, a boy of seven, wanted to go along and made such a fuss about not having a fishing rod that his father tied a twine string to a bed slat, bent a pin  for a hook, baited it with a piece of bacon and told the youngster to go, too. The boys went to the iron bridge that spans the river here and fished. In about 20 minutes pandemonium broke loose.
    “It was a warm quiet day, and sounds carried far, and a greater part of the inhabitants of the town rushed to the bridge to rescue the drowning boys. But the yells and whoops and demonical shrieks continued and a motley procession of small humanity came trooping off the bridge, led by the boy with the bed-slat, who had a four-pound rainbow trout dangling from his bent pin.
    “Strange to say, the boy lived to be a strong healthy man and retains a very vivid recollection of his first trout.”