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Whopper of a fish tale

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Posted: Sunday, September 11, 2011 12:00 am

Kendrik Johns sure likes to fish. And apparently, the fish sure like him.

On a recent weekend excursion into the Jemez Mountains with his dad, the 8-year-old Vista Grande Elementary third-grader had a whale of a time yanking fish after fish out of the Rio Cebolla.

We're not talking about a couple of fish here, either. More like a couple hundred.

By dad Erik John's count, Kendrik hauled in and released 219 rainbow trout in a remarkable two-day bout of angling.

"I've never seen anything like it," said Erik Johns, a fourth-grade teacher at Maggie Cordova Elementary. "I've been fishing since I was his age and I'm 40, and I've never seen anything like it."

The fishing hole just above the Seven Springs Fish Hatchery was awash with fish, he said.

"I don't know if they just stocked it, or what, but you could hardly see the bottom of the creek, there were so many fish," Erik Johns said. "I could barely get my line in the water because I was helping him. Every time I was about to put my line in, he would say, ‘Dad, I got another one.' "

The prodigious display even caught the attention of other folks on the river.

"Other people fishing in the area were putting down their rods to watch," he said.

For Kendrik, it was just another day on the water.

"He didn't think it was that big a deal," Erik Johns said.

"He thought, ‘that's the way it always is,' but I kept telling him, ‘‘People don't just catch fish like. that,'" he said.

But Kendrik just kept hooking those fish, which ranged in size from four to 10 inches.

"Some of them had some girth," Erik Johns said. "We didn't keep any of them though, so he probably caught some of the same fish more than once."

The youngster has been fishing for about five years and, on this weekend, he used caddis elk hair flies and nymph flies to tempt his prey.

"It's fun and challenging," Kendrik said of the activity, adding the weekend was "fun and exciting."

And that's one whopper of a fish story.

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