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Rattlesnake Lake shakedown cruise
posted by John : June 4, 2013

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Look, Mom!

Fishing season is upon us. Grandpa Jack and I have already been out once, but this was the first time the kids were scheduled to be on the water. It was also the first time we were going to try having either of the girls in a bellyboat.

Yes, I can see the lack of comprehension on your face. Think of a bellyboat as an inner tube with a hook-proof (hopefully) covering, pockets, and a seat. You wear waders and flippers and you can move around a lake pretty efficiently.

Over the years, Grandpa Jack has gone through more than a couple bellyboats. True bellyboats, with the tube going all the way around, gave way to U-boats that were easier to get into and out of. After U-boats came V-boats that had a more pointed bow and now more of a pontoon boat that has the fisherman sitting up high.

Like with many other things, we've become a final resting place for old fishing gear. To make sure it'd all work on a real outing, we headed up to Rattlesnake Lake. (Yes, the lake we usually walk right by on the way to Rattlesnake Ledges or Rattlesnake Ridge.) There are fish there, but it's not the type of place we usually go. There are <gasp> other fisherpeople there. I know!

Clara was first in the bellyboat and a pair of waders that were so oversized it's a wonder they stayed up at all. Amy piloted the Queen Mary (our really, really big raft) while Henry captained and Lilly fished. Grandpa Jack and I were in V-boats of our own.

I'll just come out and say that we were all skunked. But our reason for being there was to test boats and validate that this season we might be able to do a little more serious fishing. Especially since Grandpa Jack is now retired and free to fish all day every day.

At the end of the night we'd proven the boats would hold up and Clara could manage one on her own. She even did some pretty good casting at Grandpa Jack's direction. Amy even suggested she might want to go fishing and not just be the Queen Mary's propulsion system.

On this night we had a great time fishing and catching was optional. Still, next time I think we'll hope for some fish on the line.

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