Ahhhhh the joys of fatherhood. I had big plans for the weekend; lots of yard work, barbequing, family fun, fishing, a yummy treat, and a good beer. Believe it or not we accomplished it all. From the weed pulling, mulch spreading, kids playing in the pool, strawberry picking, blueberry coconut cake, spare ribs, and Southern Tiers Double IPA beer. Oh yeah, and the fishing...almost forgot.
It worked out that I was able to take my youngest daughter fishing late Saturday afternoon. We usually are content dunking worms, but I offered up the chance to try the flyrod. Amazing she agreed and off we went. The location we chose is simple shoreline and dock fishing with most casts needing to be ten or twelve feet at best and there are plenty of warmwater fish willing to take a fly. The casting side of this outing needs lots of work, but the effort was there and before we knew it, she had a small, largemouth bass flopping on the dock. Her excitement surpassed my expectations and satisfaction was achieved. We fooled around some more and missed a few fish here and there. The true surprise came when I had walked just a few feet away to scope out another potential spot to cast to, when she yells "Daddy I got one...I got a fish!".......certain she had seaweed to the bottom I went to see the situation and sure enough a sunfish was firmly attached to the hook........"atta girl"'s were had and again her excitement was impressive. I look forward to our next adventure.
Sunday morning I woke my oldest daughter and said it was time to go fishing. For me, this was a trip I had thought about for a while. It was time for to experience the Salmon River and all it has to offer. Dunkin Doughnut's apple fritters were on the menu and away we went. A long peaceful drive, with little traffic and only the sunrise in our eyes. It was nice to share the ride with someone eager to experience what lay ahead. We made it to the river and trekked our way to the chosen spot. I gave some instructions, which is never an easy thing to do, since it seems my patience aren't there in volume. The slippery rocks were a challenge as was getting a good cast, but she worked at it and never complained. I let her struggle a bit as I strung my rod and stepped in the river behind her as we swung wet flies through the pool. I would shout corrections in her casting as the water rolled past us......and praise when a good drift was had. The fish were not very cooperative and I had but a few short grabs. We worked out way down to the next spot and soon I had a fish on and handed the rod to her to let her fight it. Not a big fish, but fun none the less, the fun ended as slack line was had. Time was running out and we edged down the river a little further. I looked back only to see what I thought was a grizzly bear in the water, but instead it was my daughter as angry as a hungry grizzly falling on the slippery rocks....again and again. A trooper she was and back to fishing we went. The last spot right under the bridge. I had taken a few cast with her rod to show her where to target and had a little grab. She put the drift in the right spot over and over with no luck. I fished a little above her and further out when on the swing came a solid grab. I had a nice fish on and I made my way to my daughter and handed over the rod. Instructions on how to handle the fight flowed from me and followed them perfectly. I nice side glimpse of the smallmouth bass gave her that extra shot of adrenaline as line peeled off the reel again. It was a long battle but the fourteen bass eventually came to shore and posed for a picture or two. My daughter wasn't too interested in picking it up, but we can work on that the next time. The other nice note, was the fly was something I had created the week before at the Mayfly Club. A great Father's Day it was and I've never been more proud of my girls.