On my last post, I promised an update on our fishing adventures while visiting family in Colorado. We ended up just getting one day on the lake where my parents have their cabins (they have two - one for fun the other an investment that will hopefully one day become yours truly). Anyway, the lake is only about an hour and 15 minutes from the house, so we ventured up the hill first thing Saturday morning. Since our arrival it had been raining quite a bit, which of course came after Colorado having experienced one of the driest July's on record. Of course it rained since the day we arrived, it was our vacation.
Not to be shut out by a few spectacular thunderstorms, we decided to make the day trip. We hit the water just as soon as we arrived and I kid you not, I hooked up with a beautiful 18 inch rainbow on the very first cast of the morning. He was a beaut who gave a nice fight. The Grandpa said that the fish had been hitting the black Panther Martin with yellow spots pretty hard the previous week. I'd say he was right. The Wife wasn't far behind with her own monster on the line. She was really excited at landing this nice 17 inch rainbow. I just have to laugh at how she squeels with delight as the fish is coming to shore. Never get tired of it.
The Boy was off in his own little world, chasing a couple of big fish that were in the feeder pond. He was convinced it was going to be like shooting - well - fish in a barrel. I tried to tell him that those fish could see him just as well as he could see them, but he wanted to dangle that lure in front of them anyway.
The Daughter was on a streak of her own with her ever-fashionable Barbie pole and push-button reel. She decided that she wanted to try a lure like us but wasn't having much success getting the lure beyond about 4 feet. At 6 years old, the prospect of not catching a fish after ten minutes seems like an eternity and she was losing patience; particularly because me and The Wife had already landed and released a couple of nice fish. So she asked me to change her rigging over to salmon eggs and split shot fished off the bottom, which I happily obliged. I cast the line and handed her the rod and simulated what a tug from a fish would feel like. She promptly affirmed that she understood my directions with, "I know Dad!" and told me to be on my way.
While walking back to my pole, The Wife hooked up another fish and so I was back at her side to release this one as well. She really does need to learn to get her own fish off the hook I think. The Boy then called my name and as I looked down the shoreline, there he stood with pole bent doing the happy dance. I hadn't realized that The Grandpa convinced him to come over to the lake to fish. Gramps has a way with such things. So I get The Wife's fish back in the water and jog down the shore just as The Boy lands his fish. Grab the fish, take the hook out, and rig him back up to continue fishing.
As I finish that task and begin to walk back down the shore to my pole, you guessed it, The Daughter lets out a motherly squeel and stands from her lawnchair just in time for me to see Barbi starting to get a good workout and hear her reel begins to whine with that incredible spooling sound. I yell to The Daughter, "Pole tip up, keep reeling" and begin a jog in the opposite direction to provide assistance. I was actually really excited and nervous for her. This was her first fish and I could tell it was as monster! As I jogged, I kept thinking to myself, "Please don't lose it, please don't lose it, please don't lose it." I get to The Daughter's side and begin coaching her, "Don't horse it, nice and easy." It was awesome. She handled the pressure like a bass pro bringing in the winning catch - calm, cool, and collected. "This one," I thought, "isn't going back, it's going home!" As you can see in the picture, it was also a real beauty.
After that whirlwind of excitement, I rigged her back up, released another one of The Wife's catches and promptly exclaimed that I was going to go back to my pole to fish and they were all on their own. They laughed that familiar laugh of knowing that was not true. The lure fishing slowed down as the afternoon sun heated up, so I switched our rigs over to a fly and bubble. I noticed that there was a lot of top water action, even in mid-day, presumably because of all the rain the prior few days. Fly and bubble is the fishing I grew up with, but I don't think it is very common because all of my adult friends are perplexed when I describe it. Basically you take the line and thread a clear standard slip bubble through it, fasten on a swivel, attach about a 4 foot leader and your fly. Fill the bubble half way with water for distance and then cast and retrieve. It is very effective and a great 'poor mans' fly fishing setup. Fantastic for the kids who cannot manage a fly rod.
We used purple and green damsel flys and the action turned red hot. At one point three of us all had nice fish on the line at one time. All in all we hooked up with roughly 20 fish in 4 hours of fishing. It was so much fun. An afternoon thunderstorm rolled in and we made it back to the cabin just as the skies opened up and it started to pour. We decided to call it a day and packed up to head home. As we did, I took a moment - unnoticed - and watched as The Boy and Daughter fussed about gathering their things and The Grandpa finished putting their gear away. It was magical, and one of those moments that reminds us why we hunt (or fish!), eat, and live!