I got a cheap fly fishing rod from Amazon last year. I’ve gone out a few times to parks and other grassy areas to do a little practicing, but never really gone fly fishing. One of our friends from Church, Jeremy McMullin, mentioned that he goes out to the Green River to fish and catches a lot every time, so I asked if I could tag along with him. We made an appointment with Jeremy and Rob Biornstad (who was also learning how to fly fish) and today was the day!
A slight complication however… When I told my kids I was going fishing, they both became very excited and asked if they could go. I was going to leave at 5:30am in the morning. I thought this would be WAY too early for the kids… so I made them a deal. If I didn’t have to wake them up and they were ready to go by 5:30, then they can come. I thought there was a small chance that Caleb might be able to pull this off, but I doubt that Andrew would be able to get up that early.
When I woke up, they were both up and ready to roll. I must have forgotten how exciting fishing sounded when I was a kid. When I got to my Jeremy’s house, I explained what happened and he said,”Hmmm… ok…. we can work with that… “
I found out that the problem was that we had to cross the river in our waders, so we’d likely have to carry the boys across…. How hard could that be…. Well, I found it wasn’t impossible… but it wasn’t easy either. And even though the river doesn’t seem fast, when you’re thigh high in the river, it’s like a big strong dog pulling on your legs constantly…. while you’re standing on very slippery rocks…. while holding your child on your back and fishing gear in both hands…. It was a little nerve-wracking but a good fun adventure.
I was told by another wise friend, Dean Bennion, that when you go hunting and you go with your kids – you should realize that you’re not really going for yourself. You can’t really do exactly what you want AND make sure the kids are having a good time. You have to choose one. And if you’re a father that wants your kids to keep coming with you, you’ll choose to make sure your kids are having fun.
I was able to get some fishing in. I didn’t catch anything, but it was fun to cast in the river. Between casting, I had to tend to my kids who seemed like they were getting their line caught on a rock every few casts. Then, I would have to wade into the river and pull the hook out of whatever it was caught in.
Once, the hook was caught in something in the middle of the river. I waded out there and the current was strong. It came up high on my thigh and was almost pushing me over. I could see the hook deep in the river caught between some rocks. As I was leaning in to unhook it, the river got the best of me, and I slipped into the river. It took a moment for me to regain my footing. But now, water was down my wader and I had become a walking aquarium. I eventually got the hook free. But, I realized that my phone was drenched. I have the Samsung Galaxy 5 which boasted water resistance… but, is it river flood resistant? When I got out of the river, I could see it was not happy. Parts of the phone were not responding. I powered off, disassembled and put it all on a log to dry out. When I got home, my wife put it in a bowl of rice. (Which is the recommended treatment for any electronic device after it’s been water logged.) I think it’s working now, but there’s some warning about the temperature sensor…
As for fishing, I did learn a few things from Jeremy. Hopefully, I’ll learn a few things each time I go… just in time to be a grandpa… and take my kid’s kids.
1. Fly needs to be dry and fluffy looking. For a while, I was using a soggy fly that didn’t really look like anything. Jeremy sprayed on some fly floatant and it did the trick. When I floated my dressed fly down the river, I immediately started getting nibbles and a small trout jumped out of the water pulling on my line. Then it got away.
2. Bring some polarized sunglasses. You can see into the water better.
The highlight of the trip was when Caleb caught a fish. It was tiny (4 inches, maybe?… although I’m probably exaggerating…) But, it was enough to make the fishing trip worthwhile for the kids. On the way home, we stopped by the Sun Break Café in Auburn and had a big country fried steak. After breakfast, Caleb and Andrew were both out cold, sleeping in the back seat.
Fishing without the kids on the River would have been a good Father’s Day… but what’s the point of Father’s Day without being a Dad.