It had been a few years since Grandpa had passed away and we got the bug to take the kids fishing. I was really stressed at work and she suggested I needed a nice relaxing weekend. So we bought one license (she figured she needed to take care of the baby), and three new kid poles that each came with their own little tackle boxes. It was all so cute.
We were late getting away, so we opted for the valley reservoir rather than the mountains. When we finally got there it was so crowded that we had to park across the highway. Snuggle Butt refused to run across the highway with the kids so we finally found a different place to park, but it meant crossing a barbed wire fence with the kids. Why is it crossing barbed wire isn’t like riding a bike? Finally we were at the lake… I forgot to mention the fishing chairs. We had legless aluminum and mesh folding chairs for each of the kids to fish with. This and all the small tackle boxes made the whole trip from the van feel more like a slapstick comedy than a relaxing adventure. But finally it was time for the fun. Oh wait, I had to get the kids' lines ready. The first one only took about 20 minutes. The second one was much faster, but right after we got that line in the water… a wind picked up and started blowing the lines to shore. OK, time to teach the kids to slowly reel in the slack… big mistake! Seems that cranking the reel is much more fun than sitting there. It was starting to get a bit hectic. Help cast… work on the line… fix a tangle…. ouch, they just got me with a hook…work on the line... bait a hook...help cast...bait a hook...fix a tangle... and on and on.
And then finally a breakthrough, all three kids had lines in the water and I was ready to cast mine in for the first time… "Daddy, it stinks out here," little Bossy complained. "That’s what lakes smell like," I replied. "But it’s making me sick!" She rubbed her tummy. "You’ll be fine." I checked the line one last time. OK, time to cast… The sounds of vomiting stopped me mid-cast. The pole slammed down in front of me, breaking the line. "Daddy," the Gym Rat observed, "Bossy threw up… it’s making me sick." Need I say more? Then the baby started to cry. Clearly it was time to go.
That one botched cast was the only fishing ever done on that license, and we couldn’t get up the courage to try again that year. The memory stopped us from trying for quite a few years. This year, since we were staying at the lake, I tried to take one kid to the lake at a time. Sometime near dusk, Curly started crying that he didn’t get to go fishing. We snuck away from the campfire and headed for the lake. As we quietly sat in the darkening evening he cuddled on my lap. I would cast and he would reel it in, I would cast and he would real it in. In hindsight, I should have picked a spinning lure… the whole thing was a bit hard on the night crawler…