Grandson fishing August 2011
When my first grandson was about 3 years old my son Matt asked me if this fishing thing was "genetic" ?? Jaden, he explained, was either talking about fishing, looking at books about fishing, or pretending to be fishing. From there it got worse. And now Matt has 3 sons....and they are all fishing NUTS!! We spent a week in Florida for a family vacation where the boys could fish every minute save for bathroom , food, and sleep breaks...and they DID!
This summer Matt, Andrea, and his crew, now aged 10, 7, and 5, visited me at my vacation/fishing home in Oregon. We had 5 days. The first four mornings we spent flyfishing for steelhead. Matt could cast but had never caught a steelhead. The 10 and 7 year olds could not cast well enough yet. So most days, once I was properly anchored on a hole, I tied Silas and Jaden's prams on either side of mine. I would cast Jaden's rod, hand it to him, and give him the countdown. Then I would cast Silas's rod, hand it to him and give him the countdown. THEN I was free to cast my own rod. The boys would count as the line sank and then do the retreive themselves. If I hooked a fish I would trade off letting one boy or the other land it. In 4 days we landed 19 fish, unfortunately nothing larger than about 8-9 pounds. The big fish had just not come in yet. Ezra, aged 5, stayed in the pram with his father and netted his father's fish...pretty gutsy since they were Matt's first steelhead. Jaden, aged 10 hooked and landed 5 fish on his own. Silas, aged 7, DID have 4 takes on his own retreive but never got the hook set. He did land four fish that I hooked.
After 6 hours of sitting in prams fishing, in the afternoon the boys would fish elsewhere, one night in a private farm pond for Largemouth Bass, where they each caught the biggest bass, for them, ever. Or they would go to a local pond where there were bright, exciting, small "pumpkinseeds".
The last day we took them out in the big river to fish for sturgeon. The fishing was red hot. Before we got the fourth line out we had the first bite, a beast of a fish over 9 feet that basically spooled us when Jaden, unable to stop the fish, had the line bury into the spool and break off. 5 minutes later, hooked to another dinosaur, we had the same thing happen on a second rod. Our gear needed some maintenance. We re-spooled the line tightly on all the rods and cast out again. The third fish, another brute over 8 feet, broke off after we started to chase him down. The fourth fish we DID chase downriver....and eventually land. At some point in the fight the hook pulled loose from the mouth but caught again under the pectoral fin....which made landing the fish all that much harder. But the boys finally had a look and could touch a real dinosaur of a fish, estimated weight 250#. The fifth fish we COULD stop while on anchor...they were getting marginally smaller...but pulled loose. The sixth fish we landed while on anchor, about 6-7 feet, estimated 150#. We had been sturgeon fishing exactly two hours...had hooked more than half a ton of fish, landed two...and were exhausted. Even the boys were willing to quit fishing....for sturgeon....if they could go elsewhere for smaller fish! Back to the Pumpkinseeds! And so it went.