Wednesday, May 27, 2009

bonding and fishing

When my 51 year old son Rob was 9 yrs old we bonded over fishing.I needed a father and son activity, and he, at that time, was working away with little boy efforts and rudimentary equipment, to lake fish on the shore, without much luck! I had neither the interest or past experience with fishing and if it hadn't been for his enthusiasm I would have never started. I began in the interest of a father son relationship and in the process, got hooked! Our initial fishing trip was to the high Okanogan lakes for trout, then stream fishing on the way back to the coast and finally fishing the bay at Port Renfrew. Just the two of us for two weeks. We caught nothing, but the bug. We bought a 26 and a half foot, wooden, diesel cabin cruiser and my daughters and the pianist entered the pursuit. We all became keen and fished together, inshore fishing, good gear, for the elusive Pacific Salmon. It's not so easy for the novice to catch a salmon. It's also scary for the novice to take responsibility for the safety of a family in inshore waters! We spent days in fruitless pursuit and plenty of bucks on lures and gadgets to entice the 'crafty' creature. Even empty handed, there were lots of adventures on what was, to us, the bounding main, and the bonding was good. Nevertheless, the prize evaded us. Then, miracle of miracles we caught a 13 inch salmon grilse. When we put into the marina, Rob said, "Dad, can I gut the fish?" Part of the pleasure of gutting the fish was being observed by an abundance of tourists at the Lotus City Marina. Interest and questions were often asked of the 'fisher folk', as as our prize demonstrated. In a few minutes the little guy returned to the boat, crestfallen! As he began to gut the tiny fish, and answer the questions, and display his prowess, the slippery fish squirted out of his hand and slid down the drainhole of the fish basin. He forgot to hold it by the gills. It was quickly gobbled up by a seal. That fish sure was small. What to say? The drain hole must have been too big! There's always another day. Over the next ten years all of us tasted fishing success though out the southern coast! Yield is not all that counts. More important is the doing it together. Getting skunked is as interesting as limiting, but different! Fishing has stuck with my children over the years but when they left home, I did not fish again. Fishing with them, when they were growing up, is among my most prized memories and a source of endless stories, but I remember best, our first ever fish!

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