September 2nd, 2002

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Fishing With Grandpa
By Dennis Conrad (Host Denny)

Back early in the summer I received a phone call from one of my daughters who lives in the Seattle area. Each year, Ann and her husband Bruce, give the two boys the choice of how they want to spend their birthdays.

The oldest who is now 8, William, opted to go to Canada to a resort they have previously visited to ride "his" special horse.

When Ben was asked what he wanted to do, he quickly requested he be allowed to "go fishing with Granpa."

This past weekend has been one of the most memorable for me and will be cherished forever. Please allow me to share it here.

As many of you know my friend Dick Lane is staying at the Ranch while he recoups from his recent surgery. Many friends have visited both Dick and the Ranch. This Saturday morning we had a lot of activity. First, Steve Zweber arrived to spend a day or two. Shortly after, in drove Skeeter who lives North of the Ranch at Newport, WA.

Later in the evening Ann and the two boys arrived. Of course young boys are hungry (as are most older boys and girls) so Granpa had the Bar B Q up and running and hamburgers and hot dogs by the basket-full were consumed.

The entire gang, after pancakes for breakfast were put away, went to a lake near the Ranch. This lake is a 'youth-only' lake and the requirements state adults only if accompanied by a youth, joining us there was another friend, Fuzzy.

Ben and first fish

The first fish of the day was caught by the oldest boy, William. It was a nice 4 inch perch. The boys got their first lesson in Catch and Release, were a bit uncomfortable about holding a fish at first but before the weekend was over became as proficient as most adults. Each boy caught several and all were released. Two nice gills and one box turtle were also fooled by the worm. Everything was released because this is the way Granpa normally fishes.

Brothers helping each other

Fuzzy and Mom (Ann) took one boy at a time around the lake in the 34 year old canoe to check out the lily pads that could be seen across the lake. A few fish were caught and released.

Ben's guided canoe trip

The boys only had to look for help which was ready and willing by the five adults. It was a fishing outing for the youth and none of the adults had any problems with this sort of fishing trip. What a heart warming day for me.

I would like to thank Dick Lane, Steve Zweber, Fuzzy, Liz and Ann, and Bruce for allowing the boys and myself so much fun on this first day of fishing.

Monday, Steve had gone home the day before and Ann went to work with her sister, Liz. Dick, the two boys and Granpa had breakfast of choice, which was 'Scramled eggs' as the boys call them, (yes genetic) like only Granpa can make them. We did not get as early a start as Granpa normally does but off we four went to a private trout sweet spot for a try at their first attempt at the elusive bows.

Dick took the oldest boy and the birthday boy went with me. We were using spinning rigs and worms - one must start some place. Both of the boys had been practicing casting in the back yard at home for several months and the practice showed. Both of them cast like pros.

The boys trout day catch

Again Will caught the first trout, a nice 10 inch bow. It put up a nice fight and did some tail dancing much to the delight of all. We had several worm-stealing-bows but did manage to land five fish. All of the fish were caught by the boys, as Dick and I both feel it is better for the young fisherman to learn by mistakes. The end count was three fish for the birthday boy, Ben. Will caught two. The largest was a nice fat hen measuring 11 inch in length, by Ben! All of them gave the young fishermen a nice fight.

Proud grandsons

As the fishing was on a private piece of property, the owner insists that Granpa take a few home each time because of an overstocking problem in the lake. The boys unhooked the fish by themselves and placed them gently into a five gallon bucket that was taken along for just that purpose.

We talked about fixing them for supper but after talking about it decided on freezing them and taking them home so Dad (Bruce) could enjoy eating the trout with his boys. Bruce had been planning on this outing from the start because he also is a fishing nut but his work (contractor) schedule had one of those happenings that would not allow it.

Ben and his 11.5 inch rainbow

Each evening we e-mail the days pictures to Bruce so he could sort of share the fishing.

Let me say this. I have enjoyed teaching and fishing with all four of my children, since they were very young. If you have not been allowed to take a young fisherman out, do so. There really are no words in our language that allows me to express my inner feelings. To be able to see the delight in the eyes and hear the squeals of joy, made the entire weekend one I will always cherish.

Thank you Ben for choosing to fish with me and for allowing your brother Will and the rest of the gang to also enjoy your day of fishing with Granpa.

I feel that this next year will be about the right time to use the flies and fly rods. ~ Granpa Denny (Host Denny)


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