Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Family Fish Fun!

Well the long weekend is over and the weather was lousy. We had rain every day with cool temperatures but that didn't stop our trip down to Bower Lake for some family fun. #1 wasn't as unruly as I'd expected. She did put up some more resistance on Friday night, even going so far as to pretend she wasn't feeling well as a last ditch effort. The sickness went away pretty quick once I reminded her that she definitely wouldn't be able to go to her friends house if she was ill.

I think the temperature when we got to the lake was about one degree Celsius and there was a slight drizzle. Great for fishing, not so great for family fun.

I spent the first half hours setting up 5 fishing rods. I set up myself, #1 and #3 with Lindy rigs. Jules got a pickerel rig and #2 had a snelled hood with a bobber. While I was setting up #2 and #3 I was keeping a close watch on #1 as she constantly tangled herself up with any line that was within 10 feet of her. Finally, after all the frustration, everyone had a line in the water. This was the point when all of the kids decided they were done fishing. Bah! Jules and I stuck it out for another 10 minutes or so and then we moved to a spot closer to the van.

At this point everyone else but me sat in the van, #1 found a wood tick (that will teach her for talking about them so much), while I stood outside and watched Jules's and my rods. We did this for about half an hour and then I usggested that we move to the boat launch.

This was a much better location. There were fire pits, picnic tables and a big box of firewood. At least this gave everyone a fire to gather around and some semblance of comfort. Playing with fire is one of Jules favorite things to do so she was occupied with that and the kids had easy access to the water so they were happy as well. Even #1 wasn't miserable at this point, unbelievable I know.

I headed out onto the dock to see if I could catch anything. #1 and I looked into the water and noticed tons of minnows swimming all around the dock. Then I saw a fast white flash! A fish! They were chasing minnows and all I had were worms. I started going through my tackle, throwing everything I had into the water. Spoons, jigs, spinner baits, spooks, you name it I tried it. Nothing was working.

All this time #1 and #2 were fooling around on the bank when #1 shouts out (she always shouts out), "I got a minnow!" Now we're talking! I tied on a single snelled hook and loaded it up with the minnow. Then I dropped it in about 2-3 feet off the side of the dock. After this I started to clean up my mess because by this point I had all of my tackle trays laying out, so I just set my rod across my thighs and started to put my gear away. Next thing I knew the rod started bouncing away in my lap. FISH ON! I jumped up and worked my way to the shore. It was a nice sized rainbow trout. I got the fish right to the edge of the water and tightened up my drag and then 'SNAP' the line broke. Shit.

"I need another minnow!", I called out. The kids were on it. Soon afterward #3 came running up, proud as punch, with minnow in hand. Good old #3. I plopped it into the water at the same depth as before. It took a while but eventually a fish took it. Another nice rainbow. The same thing happened. Right when I was about to horse it up onto the shore the line broke.

This is when a little light went off inside my head. I remember reading that the rainbow trout can go from zero to 22 km/h in under 1 second. This kind of quick pull would surely snap my line every time. I vowed that next time I would keep remain calm and set the drag light and wear that sucker out! Provided there was a next time.

Again I put out the call for a minnow. While I waited, I loaded up a hook with a night crawler and set the rod down next to me on the dock while I tried to scoop out a minnow. While I was waiting for a minnow to come within hat-scooping distance my rod tip started wobbling. Yes! Another rainbow! This time I set the drag nice and light. I'd pull it in close and then ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz it would take off. Again it got close enough to see and ZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz out it went again. After a while it got sufficiently tired and I was able to walk up and pick it up out of the water. Finally! It was a nice 18 incher. I was satisfied that I had got what I came for so we packed up and headed home.

We stuffed it with some seasoning, butter and lemon slices and wrapped it up in some foil and baked it in the oven and served it with rice and coleslaw. Mmmmm! I love trout! It's one of the only fish I like to eat. After fishing for catfish, pike and carp for the last couple of years, it's really nice to be able to catch something that I want to eat. I believe I will be going back to Bower Lake.

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