I recently discovered a new joy, and that is fishing with my sons. They are big little boys, but young enough to be innocent, and fishing puts glee on their faces, be it fishing for rock bass, small and medium sized blue gill, small mouth, or brownies and rainbow under the bank edges. No boats needed. Just fish.
They are not looking for huge fish. They just vibrate with excitement when they are catching ANYTHING. I am looking for time with my boys, and to develop their knowledge base and experiences a little at a time. I don’t catch much, between showing them not to use a massive hook, and not to use huge spinners and flashy crap. And untangling their reels, and putting worms on. And when they catch one, it is usually a fair bet that they will fall in the water, or trip, or ram the hook into a thumb, and they are, of course, excited immediately after to catch another.
Patience is not the virtue of the young boy. Shoot, some of us have no patience till we are retired. Me, I can sit watching a line, daydreaming, and just enjoying the moment. I don’t consider fishing to be a chase, but rather becoming one with nature. It’s symbiotic, unless I eat them.
Now the boys, they see it as a chase, and a fast one. Time will slow that chase, but for now, it is a pleasure to watch the excitement. Heck if they catch a frog or a milk snake, it can kill an hour with excitement.
So, we head out for the weekend in the Roadtrek N-6, with bait and tackle and food, and of course, we are self contained, so we can go anywhere with no worries. The Roadtrek gives us sleeping, safety, cooking, water, and total mobility. We can get in almost anywhere, and we can leave just as fast.
I take the boys to some hidden public (crown) land, where I know the ponds are stuffed with Blue Gill and bass. And I spend half an hour taking off the massive leaders, and sinkers, and 3/4 inch hooks they installed back at home, and tie a little hook on with a clinch knot, (making them do it), and then give them a little piece of worm, and install a bobber on the line.
Ahhh Dad, this is boring, I want to cast across and catch the big ones,….
And there they sit, and after one minute, they get bites, and they are so excited. In an hour and twenty minutes I have a creel full of decent blue gill, and I announce it is time to move on. We stop at the N-6, take out our trusty Behring Made Blackfoot River Filet knife (www.behringmadeknives.com), and my little Mudbone Jones boning knife, and we clean the fish. Quality knives made by men who use them make life so much easier. We wrap them up and put them into the chest fridge in the N-6, and off we go to a new site, where more of the same happens. We have running water, and we clean up. We do it again that afternoon, this time we catch some perch. Not huge, not tiny, but the boys are excited.
Of course, on the way back to the camper van, we nearly step on a huge rattler. It is not excited, but the boys sure are. They are running like fiends. I make them come back and look, and show them how it moves. Big snake, I will say that, scared the boys senseless. I show them why I make them wear boots, and long pants, and they look at me know like I actually know something.
And then we stop in a campsite for a night. Off the beaten track. Just a little pull-in area on more crown land. We power up the roof, and swivel the seats. I make fish and eggs and hash browns for dinner. And we settle in together, everybody in their beds, and they watch a movie on an IPAD together, plugged into USB outlets. I read a book, go outside to star gaze. After the movie, we play blackjack for almonds.
We all go outside for a rest stop before bed, and right after the campfire, I tell the boys to watch for cougars, and they are in bed in a shot. Works like a charm every time.
And my youngest son, laying in bed, says, can we do this every weekend, Dad?
Well laddie, I sure hope so……