Contest Winning Entries

The Quiet Place

by Lou Fix

On beautiful French Creek I was up early just as the sun rose above the trees and started to burn the mist away. Soon I was on my way to a favorite spot of mine: Sugar Lake, "The Quiet Place."

For a while, I had enough tough musky fishing, trolling for hours on Conneaut Lake, working hard to get a great monster to strike without any luck. I made up my mind to do a little "lazy fishing" on my own and just enjoy "The Quiet Place."

Getting up early, I was a bit tired, having not slept well because I was thinking all night of "The Quiet Place" and what it had to offer me.

I moved the old wooden rowboat from the weather-beaten dock through the thick lily pads. The beautiful sun shone brightly, making the water sparkle like a thousand dancing diamonds. In the distance, the call of a flicker could be heard, welcoming me to "The Quiet Place." Oh, how I love those flickers!

The still lake rippled only slightly at the far end by a lazy current as it entered the channel. As I rowed the old wooden boat slowly along the lily pads, the oars creaked loudly in the oarlocks, making the sweetest sound you'd ever want to hear. What a treat, to be away from the crowded big city, with all its noise, pollution and traffic jams. What a different, beautiful world this is­"The Quiet Place."

Rowing in my lazy manner, I realized I needed this lake. It's a generous place, a lovely place, a quiet place, providing a retreat for a weary body that needs rest, the kind of rest only this place can give. So I sat in the old wooden leaky boat among the lily pads casting a bass plug, changing to a spinnerbait at times, not caring if anything challenged my offerings since I really didn't want to be disturbed. It was just too beautiful and peaceful.

As the old boat slowly drifted in a light breeze, I watched a dozen Canada geese glide to the far shore, plus a few wood ducks heading for the marsh­one of the many treats Mother Nature and "The Quiet Place" give to me.

In the distance at the old wooden dock, I could see Fred, my fishing buddy. He waved, getting ready to push off in his beautiful green canoe to meet me. He handled that canoe expertly. He's a great bass fisherman, and the homemade lures he makes are unique. No bass can resist them.

It was so good to see Fred. We fished together for hours, our crafts side by side. He landed a few beautiful bass, with all the skill of a guide. I caught nothing­it made no difference to me. We were in no hurry, and the lake was all ours.

Slowly the clouds changed and the sun disappeared. A light, warm rain began to fall. It danced on the mirror-like surface of the lake. It was good to see and hear. As the rain fell on our backs, somehow we didn't mind at all because we had a feeling of peace and contentment.

As fast as the rain came, it stopped. The skies cleared, giving us a beautiful evening.

It seems at no time will "The Quiet Place" disappoint you. This must have been a favorite place for the Indians of long ago. How they must have loved it.

We finally docked our boats, unloaded our fishing gear, and called it a day, making plans to be back soon. One thing is for sure­two fishing buddies agree that we all need the beautiful "Quite Place."

French Creek

by Lou Fix

The shores of French Creek cast a magic spell,

I can't explain­it's hard to tell.

You can see, you can feel, even smell what I mean,

As you float slowly by its shores of green.

Its trees give shade, their branches give rest,

To our fine-feathered friends as they build their nests.

Just to be on the creek at the break of day,

Is a special thrill­come what may.

The red morning sun slowly rises,

Promising a day of many surprises.

Everything's quiet, everything's still,

A beautiful something that gives a certain thrill.

A flicker bores a hole in a old dead tree,

A real joy for us to see.

A band of crows begins to flock,

In anger they chase a red-tailed hawk.

Under a sunken log an old bass waits,

for Mr. Fisherman to cast his baits.

Campers glide by in their beautiful canoes,

Loaded with knapsacks and old hunting shoes,

Leaving a world of worry behind,

For old French Creek gives you peace of mind.

The evening comes, quiet and still.

A deer wanders down from a nearby hill.

The lightning bugs signal in the farmer's field.

The cool evening breezes bring a few chills.

So we head inside to our kerosene stoves,

So cozy and nice as we warm our toes.

Now to our sleeping bags for a long night's rest,

For today beautiful French Creek has given its best.


November/December 1998 PA Angler & Boater

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