Jul 12

What I did this last weekend instead of blogging

I went camping and fishing with my little girl.  It was my fiancee’s bachelorette weekend and that meant some time with just the 5 year old any myself.  We went up to the Upper McCloud River, at the foot of Mount Shasta, about 5 hours from San Jose.  For those of you in NYC or Florida, this kind of California may surprise you.  It is a deep, dark green with towering trees. Flowing through this dark and pervasive wilderness green are several extremely fishable rivers.  This was my destination.

The not-Hollywood part of California

We got up to the campground on Saturday morning, grabbed one of the last two spots and quickly set up camp.  My 5 year old was immediately enamored with a 6 year old boy across from us, which I fear foreshadows a certain amount of trouble come the teen years. Eventually, I threatened her into convinced her it was time to go fishing.  We got down to the water quickly and on the 2nd or 3rd cast I was hooked up. She got to fight the fish and then touch it. I asked her if she wanted to kiss the fish and she said yes. So, she did.  This, when I asked later that night what her favorite part of the day was, proved to be her favorite incident of Saturday. All told she says she kissed three fish that day.  She also told the neighbors that I caught “one million two” fish.

I can hear my dad saying “Keep the tip up!”

None of this hurt my feelings.

ABS with her trout. Love it.

My folks came for dinner and that meant I got to hit the water with my dad between dinner and smores. In the two little stints of fishing I had I don’t know how many fish I caught, but it was a lot… maybe 40. Turns out they had just stocked the river with truck trout. I don’t really go places to fish for hatchery fish as I love wild fish over human-raised fish, really regardless of size. Still, “the tug is the drug” and I can’t complain.

A few special moments were created on and around the waters of the Upper McCloud. Water has a way of doing that.

Just a girl and her trout.


Once the sun came off the water, ze brownz starting poking about.

One of the things learned by fishing with a 5 year old is that the line between “we are having a great time” and “I… (sob, sob) want to go back to the camp ground… (sob, sob)… NOW!” is a perilously thin line, easily crossed with no warning or explanation.  There is a fair bit of balancing between pure joy and pure frustration, but I guess life is like that to one degree or another.

I urge all the parents out there to get their kids out on the water. Let them kiss a fish and watch it in a bucket and hold the rod and take credit for landing it. Turn over rocks and show then the bugs and talk about the trees and the flowers and the plants.

Don’t forget your daughters. Happy fishing all.

Jun 12

Important stuff

I’ve been trying to get the girl a fish for a while down here.  Sadly, the fishing wilderness of the South Bay (SF South Bay) is not exactly furtile. Kind of sucks, actually.  Still, I’ve been trying.  I’ve thrown at carp with her and even goldfish, but it just hasn’t been happening.

My little lady

Finally, I got the girl a fish down here.  Went to a reservoir that rented boats and we set out for a three hour tour.  She liked the boat, which I got to row around.  She did ask about every five minutes if we had caught anything yet and then why we hadn’t caught anything yet. Motivating.

Just a girl and her fish.

When it finally came, she loved it. I put it in a bucket and she got to see it and touch it and really see the fish.  She wants to go back, which makes me happy.

Jan 11

Special Day

Today is a special day… it is my daughter’s birthday.  I thought this was worthy of a little reflection.

She’s 4 today… one of the tallest 4 year olds you are likely to meet. She has a fascination with crocs and alligators and has informed me that she is no longer interested in being a ballerina, but instead, she’d like to do science with dangerous creatures.  She’d like to be a herpetologist… and let me head you off at the pass there, that means someone who studies reptiles and amphibians.

I approve.

She also will no longer wear pants.  Dresses only.  I accept this, although it makes it tough in colder weather.

She still wants to fish with me and asks me to take her fishing often, although being in San Jose, that is not an easy request to fill.  I hope that she stays interested in fishing (and in me) although I know there will be an age (or decade) where that probably won’t be the case.

She has her own rod… a 2 weight and she’s played fish on it already.

I have a hopeful vision of her that goes like this.  Fast forward 20 years.  In casual conversation she mentions that she is going to go to the Bahamas to go fishing with her dad. Someone asks her how long she’s been fishing and she says “I don’t know, as long as I can remember… it is just something I’ve always done.”

At the aquarium in SF, watching the rays, sharks, pompano and one solitary baby tarpon

Happy Birthday.