From the “sentences you never expected to lead a Trout Underground story” department:

“Pink and chartreuse Powerbait failed to produce; night crawlers were clearly the ticket.”

Load a small pond with a few bazillion hatchery trout, throw a couple hundred kids at it — all of them waving fishing rods with razor-sharp hooks attached — and what you’ve got isn’t so much a free kid’s fishing day at the hatchery as a rip in the space-time continuum.

Or at least it seemed like it; time slows dramatically when you see a kid rearing back like a javelin thrower while the hook at the business end of the line dangles ever closer to your kid’s scalp.

Despite the Brush With Death, a wild time was had by Little M and her BFF Alia, both of whom caught trout, though it’s just possible that playing with the tiny plastic bag of worms was a bigger hit.

Meski & Alia with rainbow trout

They liked catching them a lot more than touching them…

(At least now I understand the reason behind the success of some popular novels.)

Along for the ride was Alia’s mom Jenn (co-owner of Shasta Mountain Guides), who may be a novice at the sport, but who quickly determined that worms were working far better than the Powerbait.

Jenn Carr Putting the Trout Underground to shame...

On the way to discovering worms work better on rubber trout than Powerbait…

Being a purist, it took me a little longer to abandon the Powerbait; I was sure the chartreuse was going to pull, but it never did.

The shame, Undergrounders, is mine.

(Still, the Trout Underground delivers the information you simply won’t get at other fly fishing blogs: worms=yes; chartreuse gummy stuff=no.)

In addition to the 98% of the kids having fun were a couple of little league parents, who seemed to take this whole thing very seriously, and at some point I wanted to wander over and point out that catching the biggest trout at a Kid’s Fishing Day probably wasn’t going to guarantee a Harvard admission, but then Little M would probably begin to suspect that dad’s no fun.

I’d like to keep her guessing on that front for a few more years.

See you dodging bad casts, Tom Chandler.