Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. - Henry David Thoreau
At age four, our grandson Augie sets his goals high. Before joining us at the lake, he announced that he wanted to catch a fish and eat it. He and ViMae know that butchers turn animals into meat, and Pa had told them that Grandma was the best fish-butcher he knew. So they decided that Grandma would clean the fish and Pa would cook it.
|Belted kingfisher at Star Lake|
Right after lunch on the day they arrived, the four of us donned sunscreen and life jackets and climbed into the little fishing boat. (Mom, who doesn't enjoy fishing anyway, took a much-needed nap.) We introduced them to their fishing rods and spent a little time getting them to settle in. If you have fished with a kid, you know the "don'ts": don't wave the rod around, don't let out so much line, don't just set it down. We added as many "do's" as we could: hold it steady, move it slowly, let us know if you feel a little tug. They were excited, and they tried hard to cooperate, except for that part about letting out too much line thing. The release button is just too inviting and it was a great way to tease Pa.
"Do you want to go for a little ride to see whether we find any birds?" "No, I want to go to the cabin. Go fast."
We were using a 5-hp trolling motor. Fast doesn't really exist. But he'd seen bigger boats churn up the water with their wakes. "Turn on the waves and the bubbles," he said. I assured them that I had, and he was happy.
|Small fish, but delicious|
At the end of our vacation, we asked the kids to name their favorite thing. ViMae loved swimming. Augie's answer: "Trying to catch a big fish." I have a feeling this boy is going to be a fisherman. (Not giving up on his sister, either. She has more patience for sitting still.)