So, our boys love to fish. The only complaint they have is they don't get to go fishing enough. Most of their fish have been caught during planned "kids fishing day" events and such. You know the kind, where some sweet person stocks a very small fishing hole with lots of starving fish and the kid drops his hook into the water and thirty seconds later...a fish fry!! Check the box, pack up the stuff and head for home, we're done fishing. We have taken the boys to many of these fishing derbies and they abosolutely love it. One time when Keller was eight or so, we took the boys to a free fishing day at one of the local hatcheries. The boys each caught two fish, but Keller actually lassooed one of his! Honestly, the fish had the line wrapped several times around its neck with the hook tied up in the line, not hooked to the fish. For years we have referred to him as the fish roper!
Anyway, this year we pledged to do more fishing with the boys. So, for Christmas, their grandparents bought them new fishing poles and I got Thane a new tackle box for his birthday. So now all we needed was to find the time. Last week, while I was visiting my family, Thane tried to take the boys fishing. Well, they came up against some licensing issues and by the time they got them resolved it was dark. He told them they would go the next day, but the next day we had a torrential downpour Oregon Coast style. So, long story short, today was the day for fishing. The boys got ready fast and we all headed out after lunch, packed the car and left for Florence for some lake fishing. It was cloudy but not raining, we couldn't ask for anything better in March! We stopped at the store to pick up some bait and tackle and headed to the lake with the new fishing poles. It took us a little while to find a good spot on the lake to fish from the bank. We found a spot, got out of the car, grabbed the poles and then we noticed something...none of the fishing poles had fishing line on them. Back in the car went the poles, the tackle and the kids and we headed back to town to buy some fishing line as the afternoon grew darker. Back to the lake after we bought the line, we had to park outside the closed gate now because it was after four, and hike in to the same spot. This is where the fun really began...
I don't think I can even do this justice in writing! Thane is sitting at the picnic table and he and I have five poles to fill with fishing lines and then outfit with hooks, sinkers, bobbers and bait. So we quickly develop a system for prepping the poles with Brey and Keller diligently helping, while the younger kids started a war with sticks. We finished the first pole and handed it to Gabe. He couldn't decide which kind of bait he wanted. "Nothing catches fish like worms," Thane told him. Gabe looked hesitantly at the container full of squirming worms. "I don't think they're dead, Dad", he said. "They're not supposed to be dead, " I told him as I attached one to his hook. He looked skeptical but headed down to the bank with Brey to help him. We started on the second pole. Gabe casted once and waited. "Dad!" he yelled, "Something is wrong with my fishing pole!" We look in his direction to see him standing holding his pole with fishing line quickly springing off his reel and onto the ground. I go down to help him while Thane hands the second pole to Aubrey and starts on the third. I managed to somehow salvage Gabe's reel and cast his line again, and Aubrey is yelling to Thane as his line is springing off his reel. Trying to fix it, he now has several large knots in his fishing line and his hook is hooked to something, but its not a fish. Thane hands the third pole to Rhett and runs to help Aubrey. Gabe is now yelling again, and has another mess the result of his most recent cast. Brey rolls his eyes and sets off to help Gabe. Now, Rhett starts yelling, "My line is tangled Mom!" I run to help him and end up cutting the line completely off the reel and forfeit everything that was attached (don't worry, it wasn't a fish!) Thane has sinced finished with Aubrey and has set up Keller's pole and Keller is now headed to the bank with his pole. Keller casts and the entire line starts springing off the reel. This leads to a "lesson in casting" from Thane for all to attend. It was actually very helpful for me, but it didn't seem to help anyone else. The springing and tangling continued. Our fourteen year old provided comic relief by rolling his eyes hanging upside down from the picnic table and singing songs about how much fun fishing is! ( He never even got his pole outfitted!)
So now its five o'clock and Thane and I both have handfuls of fishing line looking at each other from different positions on the bank. All the while boys are yelling, "Mom, my fishing line..." and "Dad, I need help!" At the same time we said, "OK, let's pack up and go get pizza!" And that's exactly what we did.
On the way home from the pizza place, Thane lamented about how sorry he was that our fishing trip wasn't more successful. Some things you have to work up too. Maybe next weekend we'll actually catch a fish!!