My six year old son and I actually did manage to get out and do a little fishing the other day!
The older boy is harder to motivate to get out of the house and away from the video games these days. Sad but true. Of course I still love him though.
This was the first place we went. It is one of the closest fishing holes to home. We didn't get any bites. I think the water is too cold yet. I need a thermometer! We have a lot of snowmelt from the mountains.
The next place we went requires a walk of about 3/4 mile to get to the pond. We both needed the exercise! We stopped on this little boardwalk to take a picture. Thought it was kind of a neat shot even if it is a selfie...
Here is one view from the pond we were fishing. It was a beautiful March afternoon.
And here is a view from where we were fishing. Note the portable outhouse. Very important and scenic.
People were catching some nice sized trout that had been stocked. It was a little slow for us but I did manage to catch my first fish of the year, a 10 inch rainbow trout (sorry, failed to take a photo, major fail indeed). My son was very excited!
I caught the fish on my fly rod just off the bank with a Grizzly Hackled Wooly Worm, a very underrated classic fly pattern in my opinion.
The fly closely resembled the one above.
A kid that was fishing next to us gave us his fish to take home too. So we had two pink-meated trout to take home and clean and throw in the prying pan! They were delicious!
The two fish were so big they had to be cut in half to fit inside a ziplock sandwich bag, haha.
We kept fishing until dark. I had a couple more strikes but, alas, no more fish.
My son's attitude during the whole trip was wonderful. It was one of the most enjoyable trips I have had with him from that standpoint.
You never know when your last fishing trip is going to be so try to enjoy it while you are out there regardless of how many fish you catch!
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Deep sea fishing offers a rush many other types of fishing can’t provide. The spray of salty water, the crash of the boat against the waves, the wide open spaces as far as the eye can see or the powerful pull of a monster fish: these are the things deep sea fishermen crave, and we definitely understand why. If you are just getting started in the sport, there are a few things you should know before heading out on the open ocean.
Watch the Signs
If you see birds congregating in one spot, you can count on there being bait fish in that area. And where there are bait fish, larger predatory fish are sure to be found. Stay alert for signs like these. Also, if you see a group of dolphins, there is an increased chance a school of tuna will be close by, as these two often swim together.
Choose the Right Rod
There are two main types of saltwater rods: fiberglass and graphite. Fiberglass is the older material of the two, offering extreme durability for a lower price. While you can depend on fiberglass rods to last a long time, they lack both the flexibility and sensitivity of graphite rods. You can also go with a composite, or combination of both materials, that offers performance and price in the middle.
Talk to the Locals
Who will know the area better than the fishermen who call that area home? They can give you key insights into the area, which baits work best and the fish that are sure to bite at specific times of the day.
Bait the Hook
Live bait always works best when saltwater fishing. Keep your bait alive, even after hooking it. To do this, pass the hook through the lips, nostrils or eye sockets so your bait can swim naturally and attract predatory fish. You can also use crabs, shrimp or other shellfish as bait. If you aren’t interested in live bait, you can use cut bait. If you must use lures, be sure they are bright and shiny to attract your desired fish.
Find Your Sea Legs
If you are prone to motion sickness, there are a few things you can do to keep from getting seasick. The first, obviously, is to take motion sickness medication before getting on the boat. The second is to keep you eyes on the horizon. This will help your body adjust to the movement. Also, stay on the deck of the boat. Going into the cabin can increase motion sickness significantly.
Commercial and recreational fishing can only be preserved if we practice methods that protect the fish. Use a circle hook so you are sure not to hook the fish in the neck or fin. Treat the fish with respect. Don’t hold the fish out of the water longer than you can hold your breath, and be sure you don’t remove their protective slime from the body. Practice catch and release, especially in the spawning seasons.
Don Proper Footwear
While flip-flops might be what you want to wear, one slip or hook in your toe and you’ll change your mind. You need quality rubber soled shoes to keep your feet firm on the floor of the boat. Especially when it comes time to pull in your monster fish.
Now you are ready for your deep sea adventure. We hope you catch a goliath, and don’t forget to get your fishing attire from trusted retailers, like Carhartt!
I’d like to start this post with a quote by Henry David Thoreau that goes, “Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.”
Looking hard at the philosophical and psychological aspects of fishing, it’s hard not to question this statement and apply it to one’s own interpretation of outdoor recreation.
Though fishing is the explicitly mentioned topic of this quote, I would be hard-pressed to not take it as a metaphor for all forms of getting into the great outdoors.
A few months ago, a friend of mine and some family went on a short camping trip during a school vacation just to get out of the house and into the great outdoors.
Jackson Reservoir in Colorado is a prairie reservoir located in about as flat land as they come which implies that the howling wind racing over the land is going to be enough to drive anyone absolutely insane.
The week of this camping trip was no different and although our campsite was well sheltered, the shore site we were able to fish was on the windward side of the shore and so the wind buffeted us fisherman in a ceaseless gale blowing water and mucky weeds into our faces as we tried to cast.
Hoping for a reprieve during the first night, I suggested we return to camp and wait for dusk to fall to try an evening and a night bite during a time when hopefully the wind dies down.
It didn’t. The wind continued well into the evening and as we stood on the shore hours later with our gear in hand it began to look like a hopeless case for our meager fishing team. Just as we were leaving the situation with our tails between our legs, my friend spotted a small cove of rocks that were just large enough to block the wind should we choose to hunker down.
Now, I forgot to mention, the land we were on was a long rock pier that jutted way out into the center of the lake with short sloping sides of large boulders on either side.
One side was facing the opposite direction of the wind and so as the wind hit the pier, this section remained wind-free.
The question became how to stay warm if we decided to stay. Although wind free, the surface of the rocks was freezing cold and the temperature was dropping fast as the sun continued to set.
Then, to my great surprise, my friend adamantly stated we would fish no matter what. He suggested we tuck into the rocky area while encased within our sleeping bags and fish in a reclined position to hide from the wind.
Having no other option, we walked back to the camp, grabbed the bags, and huddled in interspersed down the bank.
When the night fell and the only light was from a dim, rickety old lamp that rattled and clanged behind us, the evening got mysterious and foreboding. It was near pitch black in our area with the exception of brief flashes of light from phone cameras and the lamp light reflecting off of rod tips.
In that darkness, the only thing a person could do was think.
The wind prevented us from any conversation and our phones lacked service to be of any use.
It was mesmerizing for a while to raise your hand a foot or two above your head and feel the wind suddenly sweep it away. Then bring it back down into the pure calm of the cove and into the warm sleeping bag.
These little pockets of serene calm amid the hectic, tumultuous rigors of life and nature are the things that I find to be far greater than anything I could catch while out fishing.
Whether it be a simple escape from the daily lives we lead or a cave amid a rainstorm while out hiking, the outdoors offers a simple way to slow down and live life deeply.
I don’t doubt that Thoreau felt that the outdoors was as if returning to a way of life in which he received much more than he could have ever asked for.
In my life, that’s my interpretation of outdoor recreation.
Let us finish where we ended with another quote this time by John Muir:
"Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life."
So go outside.
And catch the feeling you don’t even know you are looking for.
It was around my tenth birthday, and my grandmother had bought me a beginner fly tying kit so that I could follow in my grandfather’s footsteps as the family fly tier.
At the time, I understood what it meant for me as a fisherman but didn’t quite understand how it connected me to my grandfather. He had died before I was born and as such I never met him, I only knew him from stories and tales my family told me. From what I heard, his fly tying room was covered in hooks and feathers to the point where it was dangerous to walk into the room without wearing a pair of shoes.
That day, I held the fly tying kit imagining my grandfather sitting at his desk and was excited to take on this new hobby in pursuit of my fishing endeavors.
I’ll be honest, at first I was an absolute mess. Every fly was a random assortment of hooks and feathers and rubber and I distinctly remember thinking to myself that every fly was a new, unknown creation so I had the opportunity to name them all.
That was before I learned about fly “patterns” and so I went forth into the fly fishing world with a box of my very own Frankenstein flies and a sense of reckless abandon.
A few of the flies I tied were generally “fishy” looking and I like to think now that, if I still had them, fishing them in the correct way MIGHT elicit a bite but that’s probably a stretch. Or so you’d think.
One day my family and I took a camping trip way up in the Rocky Mountains near a lake that was abundant in rainbow trout that would readily take a fly from the surface or otherwise.
After spending a few days there, we had caught copious amounts of trout and at the end of one evening I took to walking the bank of the lake. As I wandered off, the lake began to come alive with the fervent splashing of trout attacking the spawning mayflies.
The evening sun sent streaks of fire across the surface of the water and sparks of light flew off the ripples of surfacing fish. The echoing smacks and slurps reminded me of all the fly fishing books I'd ever read. This is it. If there was ever a time to get out my flies, my conscience told me, the moment was now.
I raced to my bag at camp and unearthed my box, tucking it under my hand as I flew across the shoreline, the sounds of lively fish swirling around me, prompting me to run faster. I had no fly rod, so I merely took the old rig off my trout rod and threw on the fly.
Now, I guess you could say that this fly was my approximation of a hare’s ear nymph. The hook was too big and the fly itself was just a glob of hare fur haphazardly thrown on with sewing thread that did not even match the look of the body. In all areas, it should have scared fish away, not enticed them.
I cast the fly as if I had a fly rod, whipping the line back and forth and pulling it in just like I had seen in the videos. After a few tries I got some sort of hand on it and focused on watching the little bug in the water.
The reason I watched it so intently was because the fish actually followed it. Whether out of pity or hunger, the rainbow trout would race behind it and nip at the fly just enough to tap the rod in my hands.
In a way, the fish were teasing me, baiting me into one more cast, one more throw.
Whatever the reason, I was absolutely transfixed. A fly that had been made by my own hands was baiting fish into nipping at it as if it were a food item.
From that day forward I remember what it was like to realize the power I had discovered at my fingertips- that through learning the art of fly tying, I could catch fish with the tools sourced and created by me. It was like magic, and I was hooked.
To this day, I am still empowered by that knowledge and no longer rely on store bought flies to catch fish. I own a fly rod of my own and tie flies enough to make them for my friends and family.
When I fish, I remember my grandfather. Though I never met him, my flies are a legacy passed down to me through family ties.
I fish for fulfillment. I fish to connect with my past, enjoy my present, and inspire my future.
This afternoon when I got home from work, Brayden was suffering from a case of cabin fever and wanted to get out of the house. He begged and pleaded that I take him to the park.
I debated back and forth in my mind whether or not to ask him if he wanted to go fishing. I knew that once I committed, I would have to follow through.
I'm glad that I did. We headed down to the local sporting goods store and purchased a couple of fishing licenses and headed over to the park with about an hour of fishing light left in the day.
I was just as excited as the boys and offered that we stop at the first available fishing spot along the bank of the local pond.
After a few casts with a bead head woolly bugger, I had a good tug on the line and set the hook. Everyone was excited as I pulled in the fish.
It felt like a good sized fish, relatively speaking. I saw that it was a nice crappie and let them know. I told Brayden to get the net and delayed the retrieval of the fish.
With Bruce's help, Brayden successfully netted the fish. Our first fish of 2017!