When I got up at
5 AM this morning, the air smelled absolutely wonderful. It
always does after a rain in New Mexico and last night we had
a big rainstorm.
As my neighbor and
I took off on our Tuesday morning walk, I guess the fragrance
in the air reminded me of the high country of New Mexico in
the fall and that in turn reminded me of my passion, which is
Fly fishing is always
best in the fall. I started thinking about some of the wonderful
experiences that I had in the past and since I had talked about
how fly fishing was my passion in my article last week, I thought
I would tell you about a funny story that happened to me one
time when I took my daughter fishing.
By the way, my daughter
is now 25 years old and lives in Albuquerque where she is busy
going to beauty school after completing a BA degree in physical
science. Her plan is to create a business where her lady clients
can come in and not only leave looking beautiful, but also feeling
I started teaching
my daughter how to fish when she was quite young, but as she
got involved in her school activities and I in my real estate
business, our fishing time together got scarce. As time quickly
escaped us and she went off to college, she thought about those
wonderful times we spent together and each summer after she
left home, she always managed to set aside a couple of days
for us to go fishing.
Even though she never
got to spend a lot of time with me fishing, she never forgot
the rudiments of basic fly casting. My wife, on the other hand,
partly because of her busy schedule and partly because she never
got an opportunity to go fishing as a youngster, is not an avid
fan of the sport.
One day, three or
four years ago, my daughter, my wife, who develops interest
in fly fishing any time her daughter is going, and I took off
on a fishing trip. I decided we would fish some high mountain
lakes in float tubes because it is easier for individuals that
are not very experienced in the sport.
Float tubes are
round or "U' shaped rubber tubes covered with a nylon jacket.They
have a seat sewn in the middle of the tube, where a fisherman,
wearing insulated waders, sits half submerged in the water and
guides the tube around with the aid of swim fins.The fisherman
can either go to a particular spot on a lake and stop and cast
his line at that point or keep the float tube moving and troll
the line as one would do from a boat.
I have three of these
complete sets of tubes, waders and fins because I have either
out grown them physically or have found a different kind that
I wanted. All of them work fine and so I usually let my daughter
use the smallest set which is still quite large for her and
I let my wife use the next larger set which is also too large.They
both look like astronauts in bulky space suits.
lakes are about a three hour drive from our home and I spent
the travel time coaching my daughter on the art of playing a
fish, all the way into the net, after it has been hooked. She
is very patient with me and lists, or at least appears to, as
I went through a very detailed description on how to land a
After having arrived
at the lakes and going through the process of setting up all
the rigs for three of us, we floated out in the water. On this
particular day there were not many people around the lake or
in the water on float tubes. No motor powdered craft are aloud
in these small lakes.
With this in mind,
I hoped to get a fish on my line soon, so that I could demonstrate
the process of landing a large trout, in case my daughter should
happen to hook one of the large trout that were in these lakes,
she would have some chance of landing it.
The following part
of this story was difficult for me to talk about for several
months after it happened. As we moved out into the middle of
the lake, I separated myself from my daughter and wife so that
there would not be too much movement and noise around me. A
good fisherman knows that too much commotion makes trout become
leery and they won't strike.
As I waited with
stealth and anticipation, my wife yells out, "Quick, your
daughter caught one, hurry, come and help." As I watched
from a distance, my wife rushed as fast one can in a float tube,
to aid her daughter.
Our daughter, in
the meantime, handled her fly rod along with the fish attached
to her line with the style and grace of a very experience fisherman.
As she brought the fish in close to her float tube, my wife
approached with great speed and dexterity and scooped the fish
into the net she had attached to her float tube.
It always amazes
me how a mother, when dealing with something important to their
child, can immediately increase their skill level as many times
as necessary for the task at hand. Now each float tube has a
piece of webbed material that attaches in front of the seated
fisherman that is called an apron.
My wife lifted the
net with the contained fish and placed it on the apron and then
laid her bosom over the top like a child would do when taking
a nap on a school desk. Nothing would make her do that except
the fear of her daughter's fish being lost, which would never
happen once in the net.
As she laid there,
she was yelling at me to hurry and get the fish and put it on
a stringer for her daughter. When I arrived, I took the suffocated
fish out of the net and put it on my daughter's stringer. The
fish was quite large and I congratulated my daughter for a job
well done all the time thinking she was very lucky.
We all set out to
try and catch another. After while the same thing happened again.
My daughter hooked another large trout. My wife paddled over
and netted it, boob-a-fied it as I call it, then yelled at me
to come over and put it on my daughter's stringer. My daughter
never said a thing and again I thought she was really being
lucky. Well she did this a third time and I still hadn't had
a strike. When the third large trout was put on her stringer
and we all floated out to try and catch another, realization
was finally starting to set in for me that perhaps, and I say
perhaps, my daughter might not be a bad fisherman after all.
As we were getting
some distance from each other, my daughter in a soft and quiet
voice said, "Dad, are you mad?" Now had you been there,
you would have been proud of me when I answered in a calm voice,
"No hijita (daughter), I'm not mad." And then in a
loud voice, this part you may not have thought was too cool
"But I'll never take you fishing again!!!"
I never have gotten
over that, as you can probably tell. I guess it hard for a father
to believe that this little girl that he once held in his arms
would one day beat her dad at fishing.
Have a great day