Fishing With the Family


Active Member
I would have made a good caveman; my wife has been telling me for years that I am a poor communicator as I prefer to point and use grunts to convey messages and expect people to understand my meaning, if I do anything or say anything at all.

On Friday I fished a Columbia Basin lake that fished well for me last year. It was the first time in about 5 months that I took my 16-foot jet boat. All excited for the upcoming year, I spent some time back in early March getting ready for the season, charging the batteries, replacing a winch strap, and other minor preparations that would hopefully allow me to concentrate on fishing. Then this virus thing hit. I took my second son and wife; one daughter had to go to help with some emergency dental work for a customer so she had to cancel.

Of course the night before, I didn’t communicate very well in that I didn’t specify a time when we were leaving; I just assumed everybody knew what I did: our destination was an hour and a half away, fish bite better in the morning than mid day, there would be less launch traffic early morning than late morning, and the wind was forecast to be lighter, picking up a little in the afternoon. Of course nobody else knew that except me but somehow I expected them to know all that and be ready by 7 or so. Typically when I take my family anywhere, I let the course of action run on it’s own; perhaps another example of poor leadership and communication. But when things don’t really go the way I plan so I take a chill pill and go with the flow. It’s usually better that way.

We were lucky with the weather and pretty much everything else that day. Both motors started immediately, we had good weather, good fishing, didn’t stop anywhere on the way, made sandwiches at home, and kept to ourselves.

Arriving at the lake around 1:00 PM (yeah, about 4 hours later than what I had in my head) there was a bit of a surface chop as a quick rainstorm was rolling through. We tucked in behind a sheltered area and anchored up on a drop off (see the picture showing the transition area from yellow water to dark water) and I began rigging up a bobber rod. My plan was to fish two indicator setups for my “clients” and I would cast and retrieve a sinking line. After an hour, I still had not tied a fly on my rod; there was plenty of action with all the other commotion going on. Within a minute or so of throwing out the first bobber, I heard a fish jumping close to the boat and my wife’s rod bucking with a live one. I don’t think she set the hook all day; the fish were burying the bobber, essentially hooking themselves, immediately jumping out of the water and she sat back and reeled them in, one after another. My son was doing everything right (casting his own line, intently watching his bobber, setting the hook on time) but for some reason was having a harder time hooking them though he eventually did land his share.

Being out on the water, I find I am in my element. I can’t control how long it takes my wife to get ready. But once on the water, I’m all business and have control of everything. I’m a machine; with all the chaos ensuring around me, I feel at home. Everything happens at once, casting my wife’s rod, unhooking her fish, cleaning fish, untangling knots, watching both indicators, telling them when there is a fish “indicating”…it is all so exhilarating. I look for every opportunity to increase efficiency. When a fish falls off the hook and is flopping on the bottom of the boat, I take the lucky break and re-cast so the flies can sink to the bottom while picking up the fish. They caught fish, laughed, giggled, took pictures, made jokes.

After awhile the chop died down and we went to another spot. Although it was not quite as fast and furious, fish were definitely on the shoal, feeding in about 6 feet of water. This can be a good dry fly spot later in the evening, but I knew we would not be able to take advantage of it. After a couple of hours, I could see they had had enough. We did find a few browns in this second spot; the lake does not get a large number of but if you catch a few, especially during mid-day, you are even more satisfied that you’re doing it right. Everything worked, nothing else broke that wasn’t already broke, and we made it back home okay. So far, none of us have chills, fever and are breathing on our own so I guess all is good. Now if I could figure out a way they could read my thoughts without me having to actually express it with words.


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