Those of you familiar with my blog might recall I affectionately referred to my 2007 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab 4×4 as the “Trout Truck.” Although it was my daily driver, its underlying purpose was to get me in and out of the destinations where the trout angling was better than average and where inclement weather, which is often good for fishing, can make passage difficult. I had gotten stuck a few times in my previous 4×2 Dakota, but the 4.7L V8 4×4 never got stuck which was a great comfort to me and certainly increased my angling time.
As the Trout Truck approached 10 years old I began to contemplate its replacement. Dodge stopped making the Dakota after the 2011 production, and Toyota’s Tacoma increased its market share of the mid-sized 4×4 trucks. Recently GM introduced a new mid-size 4×4 (Chevrolet Colorado and GM Canyon) to better compete with the Tacoma. About 17 months ago my son Brian purchased a 2017 Tacoma TRD Off Road. His Tacoma started my juices flowing again until I finally made the decision to swap my 2007 Dakota for a 2018 Tacoma SR5 4×4. I’m so pleased with it I honestly don’t know why I waited so long.
The SR5 has some really nice safety features that are new for 2018, but it does not have the versatility of the TRD Off Road’s electric locking differentials and its state-of-the-art Multi-Terrain Select and Crawl Control. But I couldn’t justify an extra $2000 for features that I might use once or twice in the truck’s lifetime. The SR5’s basic 4×4 with rear end limited slip differential and traction control should be enough to avoid getting stuck. It is already clear to me the new Toyota Safety Sense features like Lane Departure Alert, Pre-Collision Alert, and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control will get plenty of use while traveling Nevada’s two-lane highways enroute to the dirt roads that lead to the best angling locations. I will install a Lear bed cap much like I had on the 2007 Dakota; I found the cap to be highly practical for my fishing trips, especially transporting my angling watercraft.
An added bonus of purchasing the Tacoma is its slang name “Taco.” Die hard Tacoma owners often refer to their trucks as “Tacos,” which gave me the idea to christen the new angling truck the “Fish Taco” (I highly doubt I’m the first to use this moniker).
The Fish Taco’s maiden off-road voyage was an early morning run to the Cold Creek Pond. Frankly, passenger cars can make it down to the pond if they have reasonable clearance, but this trip provided the excuse to put the truck in four-wheel drive for the first time as well as to cast a fly line for 45 minutes.
I arrived at the pond about 7:15 AM and was very pleased to be completely alone. I was also surprised to catch two small stocked rainbow trout within the first 15 minutes. It was then I noticed a passenger car carefully finding its way to the pond. A man and small child exited the car with fishing rods in hand. When they got within conversation distance we exchanged pleasantries. The father, Tim, was taking his four year old son Aiden fishing. They had fished Cold Creek a few weeks before and did very well. Tim mentioned fishing Eagle Valley Reservoir, and asked if I had as well. I told him I was a long time southern Nevadan who fished throughout most all of the state. I told him I wrote a fishing blog. He mentioned discovering Cold Creek through a blog, and then after hesitating a few seconds he said it might have been my blog. He asked me what my blog’s name was and I replied “FisherDad.” He recognized the name, and then politely said he thought the blogger in the website photos looked older than I did in person. That made me smile.
Tim asked how long I had been writing the blog since some of the posts were dated over 30 years ago. I told him the story of my son Nick creating the FisherDad blog as a Father’s Day gift 11 years ago. Because I had older adventures I wanted to post I decided to backdate them to their original time frames. I mentioned Nick was a web designer at the time, and that he now works at Square in San Francisco as a Front-End Engineer. Tim laughed and said that coincidentally he was a Systems Analyst for Optum Health in Las Vegas.
I discovered that Tim is married and a father of three: Aiden and his two younger sisters. He explained that Aiden had a congenital eye disease that impairs his vision which will eventually lead to blindness. He spoke of some frustration with the Clark County School District’s inability to provide his son services until he loses more of his vision, and it reminded me of friends with autistic children who also seem to fall in cracks. Despite Aiden’s disability, Tim was very upbeat and happy to be spending time with his son. The visit was reminiscent of the time I met Amelia Smith fishing the pond with her father John.
I was fortunate to land one more trout, slightly larger than the first two, and decided to leave the pond to Tim and Aiden. I was content with three trout in 45 minutes, and after all it was all about the Fish Taco’s maiden off-road angling adventure anyway.
(Tim, if I’ve misspelled names or misrepresented any facts please post a correction in the Comments.)