So...when I began the 50 Before 50 I knew it would be interesting and fun...but I had no idea of all the feelings it would stir. On a Sunday at lunch I asked my Brother-in-law Scot if he would help me accomplish #8...go fishing for the first time EVER in my 44 year old life. He immediately invited us to go camping/fishing with him the following Friday(the 2nd by the way...one of my busiest days of the month.) Now I would say that we are the most spontaneous people that I know...but...arrange a camping trip...over month end...on Labor Day weekend with 5 days notice...that was a stretch. But we pulled it off.
We camped at Shady Pines Resort in Conconully, WA. Scot, his Mom, and Aunt and Uncle welcomed us with open arms. Timothy, Hannah, Esther and I left after work. I was EXHAUSTED and slept the whole way there. We literally unloaded the basics and jumped in the tent. The next morning I woke up around 7 and WENT FISHING!!! I learned the parts of the pole, and how to cast. Scot is the most patient teacher...oh I love him...he's truly the best brother a girl could have...I'm SO blessed! I cast and cast over and over and frankly it was not easy. I can't tell you the number of times my line got tangled. Once I got the idea...I improved. We sat on the shoreline all day. The pole sat between my knees waiting for the bite, while my hands busily knitted. Scot got one, Hannah got 2, Scot's Mom got one. All day I waited. I knitted, and thoroughly enjoyed the down time. So refreshing! Then it happened...literally on my last cast of the day...and then I felt it...the distinctive wiggle of a bite. Check it out!
MY FIRST FISH!!!
Now I know...some of you may be thinking...that's a dinky fish. I've heard all the "bait fish" jokes and so on...but to me that fish was EVERYTHING!!! I was THRILLED!!! I can't even tell you. SO MUCH FUN!!! Scot taught me how to clean the fish. I wasn't sure if I could do it. Frankly I'm good at it! It fascinates me...like a dissection. When I started the day the fishy smell of the Playdoh like substance called "Power bait" was a little undesirable on my fingers...by the end of the day I would rub my fingers together to get it mostly off, and just move on...eating with my hands...as if I'd been
a pro doing it all my life.
Fishing lesson #1: You can not control what kind/size fish that bites on your line.
Hannah and her really big fish:
That was it! I had the fever! Sunday we fished all day. Did I mention the weather was perfect?!? I caught a little bit larger fish on Sunday. In the evening there was a duck race in town. Because the creek(crick...for the locals) was very low it took what seemed like forever. Gotta say though the local people were interesting to say the very least.
Scot and Timothy figured out(how I do not know) when the fish should be biting...so we rented two rowboats on Sunday night and fished at dusk.
We had a blast! Quiet, enjoyable fishing. Though I caught none I thoroughly enjoyed this time in the boat with Hannah. This is where I need to admit that she caught a beautiful, huge trout...which I did not successfully pull into the boat. I was supposed to grab it, pull the hook, and put it on the stringer. Sadly I let it get off the line...I'm so sorry Hannah! She was very gracious, but I still hear about it once in a while.
Monday morning we woke at 5:00 a.m. because...well...that's what fishermen do. Right?!? The sunrise was spectacular!!!
Hannah, Esther and I fished from the dock.
Hannah - I look forward to sitting in a boat, on the shore, or on the dock fishing with you for many years to come! I love you my Girl!
Esther caught a beautiful fish...so did Hannah but Mom did a repeat of the letting it get off the line...boo hiss!
I caught another smallish trout on Monday, and can I say...eating a fish you have caught yourself is oh so sweet!
We had a BLAST of a weekend! Scot! You are the man! Thank you for gently, patiently teaching me how to fish. I truly believe I will be thanking you when I am 70 something sitting on the shores of some lake catching my thousandish fish. I love you my brother!
Since that beginner weekend, I've gone fishing 3 subsequent times. My next challenge was to fish for a salmon.
On a Friday Hannah and I bought our own poles, and some plastic squid bait and some seriously bigger hooks. My brother in law Glenn agreed to take us out the following morning. He showed me how to put the line on my pole etc.
We got up early and headed out in the dark. I must admit that climbing down the river bank was a challenge in the dark...but we did it.
Fishing Lesson #2: Every real fisherman needs some fishing shorts/pants.
Meet my fishing pants:
We had a really fun time learning the art of jigging.
We didn't catch anything...but we had a really fun time learning.
Fishing Lesson #3: Not catching anything is common and has no bearing on enjoyability.
Sunday morning I went fishing with my sister Laura, my brother-in-law Mark, my niece Kesa, and her boyfriend Ty. It was POURING rain...but real fisherman welcome the rain. I grabbed my raincoat and headed out the door in the dark of the pre-dawn...excited to be going fishing.
I CAUGHT A SALMON!!!
THAT is no bait fish! It was 23 beautiful inches!
Mark coached me through reeling this bad boy...well girl...in. Thank you SO much for helping me to get him off the hook, and onto the stringer.
Fishing lesson #4: Keep your pole up while reeling in the fish. This prevents you from breaking the pole, and allows the pole to do some of the work.
Monday night Hannah and I went fishing...BY...OUR...SELVES! I know right?!?
It was the perfect evening...just the two of us.
The fish were jumping all over the place and skittering across the top of the water, the herons were flying over and landing just across the river, the bats were flying low atop the river...and then the piece de resistance(how do you put in accent marks anyway?) hot air balloons literally went right over head:
Again we didn't catch any fish...but we fished until it was pitch black. SUCH FUN!
Fishing Lesson #5: Always bring nail clippers, or scissors. When you get your line caught in a rock it may become necessary to clip it. Not that this happened to me...but just saying. ;)
Fishing Lesson #6: A fish has to "voluntarily" take the hook in it's mouth. You can't keep a fish that you "snagged" meaning hooked anywhere other than inside the mouth or on the head. (a man down the bank caught a fish in the tail...he got into an argument with another man about keeping a "foul" catch.)
What do you call a female fisherman? Fisherlady, Fishing Goddess? I don't know...but what I do know...
I AM A FISHERMAN!!!
50 Before 50 #8 = CHECK!