So for many years I have been trying to cultivate both a love for the natural world and a love of sport of fishing in my kids. For the most part they would come along with me and hang out, get wet and muddy, and explore the surrounding we found ourselves in which made it a challenge to keep track of their poles. I've always been keen to create good memories on these trips and so the "love of fishing" part has never been the focus of our time out. I've always thought this would come as they spent more time out with me and they improved their fishing skills. My son James has really come into his own as a fly fisherman. He is 12 and now can be left completely to his own to tie on the flies, land fish through a mass of weeds, and safely release them. It's become a challenge to out fish him. He and his little sister decided to take me fishing this morning for my birthday gift and it couldn't have been a better choice. I decided I wouldn't fish if I could nurture Catie's fly fishing skills. She is 10 and already is a pretty good caster to 25' and so I thought I would take them to a pond with abundant LMB for a fly fishing outing. So attached are photos of some of their catch this morning. James caught a number of fish that were not photographed because he fished independently. That said, when Catie caught a fish he would come running to share in the joy, participate in the photograph, and encourage his little sister. He is an awesome big brother. I am getting the photos up and will make a few comments ... especially Catie's bass which has great story to go with it.
So the kid holding the fish ... caught the fish. We started off fishing with Bette's popping bugs the size that are for bluegill. A couple of weeks ago, James and I caught and released 11 bass at this pond in the space of an hour and a half. That's about as good as it gets around here in waters that are heavily fished. Catie started off well but soon became discouraged as James landed 3 fish over the course of about 20 minutes. So I asked if she might like to try a smaller fly to fish specifically for the CNBG in the pond and she agreed so I tied on a size 12 Adams. I made no effort to waterproof it as I wanted the fly to sink and after her first CNBG the fly could no longer float. She caught numerous CNBG but the two largest she caught were photographed. It was getting really hot (its dang hot in Texas) and she was wanting to go get our Frosty at Wendy's but I bargained with her to keep trying for a few more minutes. A little later she cast, the fly sank, she stripped once and the LMB above approached the fly. She was so excited ... and I said wait ... wait .... wait. The fish opened its mouth and I said "wait ... SET THE HOOK". Dang what a memorable moment and a great fight as she played the fish from the reel. It just doesn't get better than sharing moments like this with your family.