Merwin: There's Always Room for Worms

Every fisherman needs a few earthworms once in a while. I was using a small backhoe (pictured) to clean out some drainage ditches the other day. A bunch of garden worms that I saved in an old coffee can were a happy by-product.

I might head up to one of the small, back-country creeks nearby, using the worms to catch a mess of little brook trout for dinner. Or maybe I'll anchor my boat in a quiet cove, toss out a couple of bobber- and-worm rigs, pop open a cold beer and put my feet up.

Either one is partly a nostalgia trip. Back in about 1950, digging worms with my Grandpa was just one highlight of a fishing day. He'd shovel. I'd grab the worms and drop them carefully into an old lemonade can.

These days I tend to get all wrapped up in the ardent sophistication of dry flies or a deep contemplation of the latest in bass lures. It's all fun, but sometimes gets a little exhausting, too. For really laid-back fishing, it's hard to beat a simple worm.