Fishing my way through adolescence in the trout streams and lakes of the Sierra Nevada, I burned through an impressive number of green-labeled jars of Pautzke’s Balls O’ Fire salmon eggs. The “soft but satisfying” red eggs were so deadly on rainbows, browns and brookies that I rarely used anything else.
The small wild rainbows that used to live in the creek behind our house loved Pautzke’s eggs and so did the larger ones below the powerhouse in the main river. At the local trout pond, I used to pin a mini marshmallow to my hook to float my Balls O’ Fire above the weeds were the planters could see (and devour) them. And, every summer on the family campout, I’d absolutely lay waste to the truck trout that would get dumped under the bridge on our favorite creek.
Pautzke’s was my trout kryptonite all the way through high school, but in college, we began to drift apart. Suddenly, catching trout seemed a lot less interesting than chasing attractive co-eds and my fishing dropped off considerably. Of course, fishing got pushed even more towards the backburner when I got out of school, as jobs, marriage, mortgages and real life in general kicked in.
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