Brooke Cooper was age 11 when he wrote this article

At four o'clock a.m. my Dad got up for a fishing trip to Strawberry Reservoir.

Having been fishing there since 1967, and flyfishing on a float tube since 1980, Strawberry is where he mainly fishes.

Putting on his faded fishing hat he started what he calls "packing" the car, which is really throwing stuff into the trunk. As he "packed" the car he threw in his float tube, waders and fly rod. He was on the road by four thirty.

Arriving at six o' clock after a hour and a half drive, he was in his float tube and in the water by six thirty.

At about 10:30, after catching close to 15 fish, my Dad spotted a large fish in a bed of moss along the bank. Knowing it was waiting for food to pass by, he threw out a black streamer just in front of it.

While stripping the fly by the fish, it struck the fly and took off. Jerking back, he started reeling in.

After a five minute struggle my Dad had landed a five pound, 24-inch cutthroat.

Since my Dad wasn't big on keeping cutthroats, he let it go, only to come back the next Saturday and find it holding in the same spot.

Once again my Dad was fishing in the reservoir, only this time with his friends and it was a two-day fishing trip.

It was pretty dark, but there was just enough light to see a fin in the water. Once more my Dad threw out a black streamer just in front of it and again had a strong pull and jerked back.

After landing the fish he noticed it looked a lot like the fish he had caught the past Saturday. It was the five-pound, 24-inch cutthroat.

The next morning my Dad set out again to fish in the same spot. Later in the morning he saw another large fish about nine feet in front of him. Quickly he threw out his line with a brown leech on it.

After striping in about half way, he saw a huge wake come out of the water and take off with the fly. After letting the fish play with it for a few seconds, he started reeling in.

After five minutes he had landed a six pound, 25-inch rainbow. Unfortunately for the fish we had it for dinner a couple nights later. That night he told me that was the best fishing trip he had been on to Strawberry Reservoir.

Editor's Note: We thank Brooke for this article. The Coopers win overnight accommodations at the new Strawberry Bay Lodge. We have received many good stories and photos for our Strawberry contest, and will publish more.

Copyright Dave Webb, 2005