Last year I spent a fair amount of time fishing tournaments. For a variety of reasons I didn’t enjoy competitive fishing as I should have. So I decided this year I’d fish solely for fun. Interestingly enough, that doesn’t mean I fish purely for myself.
Every year I make a number of fishing commitments that aren’t based on me fishing, rather they’re based on others. For example, I’ve participated in three fly tying demonstrations and gave two days fishing on private water as my guest. I also spent one day doing trail work in Phantom Canyon and am scheduled for one more. Plus, I volunteer to other activities throughout the year.
Last weekend was spent fulfilling fishing commitments. Tough I know, but someone has to do it. Saturday I volunteered for the C.A.S.T event at Horsetooth and was privileged to be one of the boats that took a child and their parent out for a few hours fishing. It turns out we had more boaters than kids, so it was a no lose situation. All the kids got to go fishing, and even if one didn’t get to take a kid out, they could launch and fish. I’d of been good with that, especially as I’d arranged to take my granddaughter out that afternoon.
My passengers were Charlotte Hellyer and her father Brian. It was Charlotte’s second year, but she’d yet to catch her first fish. Knowing we needed to be back by 11:00 a.m. I opted for a short run to Dixon Cove, and joined several other boats with a similar idea.
Normally, I fish the long rod, but this round I knew it would be easier for my guests if we fished conventional gear. So I rigged Charlotte’s and my rods with 1/8 ounce jigs and three inch plastic twister style grubs. That did the trick and it wasn’t long before Charlotte landed her first of three smallmouth bass, success. While catching was always part of the plan, it was obvious from their smiles that just getting out fishing was enough for Charlotte and Brian to have a great day. While I’ve had better days catching, spending time with Charlotte and Brian and sharing in their time on the water, make Saturday one of my best days fishing.
My wife Sue, daughter Jennifer, and granddaughters Alexandria and EllieMae met me at the Pavilion as we dropped off Charlotte and Brian. Alexandria is a bit over two and already “nuts” about the boat and fishing. So I bought her a pink kid’s rod as a toy and gave it to her. It turned out to be a “mistake” on my part.
I thought there might be issues with her swinging it around people or who knows what else. No, the issue was all she wanted to do was go to the water’s edge, point the rod at the water, and fish. She didn’t want lunch, to play with kids, anything but “fish.” Ultimately, the only way we got her away from the water was to convince her to go “fishing” from the boat, which we did. Not sure where this will end, but if she continues down this path she’ll but me to shame when it comes to fishing.
Sunday was also a commitment filled. I spent the day fishing with Fugowee Guides (Dave) at Red Feathers on private water, the “trip” he won during the Winter-give-away. A most enjoyable day as Dave is a solid angler and had a good day, even though the fishing was tougher than normal.
While the weekend was spent fulfilling commitments, from my perspective, they weren’t commitments, they were some of the most enjoyable time spent fishing all year and I only hope that Charlotte, Brian, and Dave enjoyed themselves also. And from their smiles and thanks, I have every reason to believe that to be true, which is made the days even better for me.