Fishing season is upon us again, but it's way different than last year. It wasn't more than a few years ago that Clara was content to sit in the raft as I paddled her around. Now, of course, she wants no help and can do it all herself (and in fact isn't bad at some of it). Even Lilly is adept at holding the rod, though she has a ways to go when it comes to rowing.
The biggest difference, though, is that last year I could get away with taking one girl or the other. With the new raft there's enough room for both girls even if it more than doubles the effort.
So Sunday found me, the girls, and Grandpa Jack deep in the heart of the Hancock Snoqualmie Tree Farm chasing fish on Grandpa Jack's secret lake. Both girls chatted non-stop on the drive up the potholed road and were fascinated that we had to open a gate with a magic key.
As soon as we were on the water we picked up a pretty little brook trout with beautiful colors. Grandpa Jack (blissfully alone in his bellyboat) paddled over to help net the monster and put him into a submerged basket for later.
Unfortunately, our early success became a dry spell that lasted right up until we were ready to pack it in. (Meanwhile Grandpa Jack had been pulling them in.) I blame our lack of success on the constant shifting in the raft coupled with experimental rowing techniques that can be described mostly as go really fast and in circles. Even if it wasn't the girls it couldn't be that I'm a lousy fisherman.
Happily, we caught one last fish to bookend our time on the water with success. The girls would later describe it as a huge success with lots of fish. That was probably due to the fog of childhood memory and the basket full of fish that Grandpa Jack brought to shore so the kids could see the fish before they were released.
Smart move, Grandpa. (I'm still a better fisherman.)