Thursday, June 3, 2010

Fishing Memories

I love to fish. I remember every fishing trip I went on as a child. I remember who took me, what kind of car they drove, what we had for lunch, what we used for bait, how many fish we caught, and what time we got home. I have vague memories of other events in my childhood but none are as vivid as my memories of fishing trips and the people who were kind enough to take me. Hoping that I will be remembered as fondly, I never pass up a chance to take a kid fishing.

When I owned a construction company, we had a company party every June to celebrate another year of survival. We had plenty of adult activities involving beer, barbecue, volleyball, horseshoes, and pool, but the highlight of the party was always the kids’ fishing contest. A friend had a pond full of three to five pound trout. We would rig up a dozen fishing poles and turn the kids loose to catch a couple of fish, with the biggest getting a trophy. I know that the kids were having a good time catching fish but had not thought of fishing as a spectator sport until I witnessed the parents become something akin to soccer moms on steroids. There was a lot of yelling, directing traffic of two or three fish on at once, and running to get the one shared net. In the end a winner was declared and the trophy awarded, and everyone came back year after year to try again.

Last fishing season my sister asked if I would like to take her granddaughters fishing in Rock Creek which runs behind our house in Red Lodge. I couldn’t wait. I got out all the poles and rewound the reels and salted the worm bed in my garden with a few boxes of extra worms. Ava and Zoe showed up with their very own poles and would not consider using mine, thank you very much. We dug the worms and that was a very big hit. I had worried a little about the girls wanting to pick up the worms but they were very excited and helpful in the digging.

Rock Creek is a very good fishery but it is a little swift and sometimes hard to fish. The poles the girls had were a little hard to cast because they were short and designed for consumer appeal rather than utility. The girls’ dad, Jason, and I were helping with the casting and doing our best to make the girls’ first fishing trip fun. But fishing was slow and after a while Ava and Zoe got distracted by baby frogs, butterflies, and wildflowers and eventually wandered off. That is how I ended up fishing next to Jason on Rock Creek, behind my house, next to a campground full of Harley riders, with the Barbie poles that have the pink light in the handle to tell you that you are ready to cast.



Cindy said...

It takes a real man to fish with a pink fishing pole!! Some of my favorite childhood memories are of fishing with my dad. He also taught me to tie flies. Thanks for sharing your photos and fishing experiences. Bless you for taking the time to create wonderful memories for many children and for reminding me of great memories with my dad.
(Thanks for coming to the SLC show--loved talking to you.)

Lindabee said...

What a wonderful story. My father-in-law used to take all 10 grandkids fishing, and spent most of the day untangling lines, getting hooks out of trees and baiting hooks for the girls. It's a time I'll always remember fondly.

Flynn Quilt Frame Company said...

We spent a lot of time fishing with my dad too; great memories! Thanks for sharing your stories.