We've had a bunch of great flyfishing adventures already this summer. We started with a crazy catch-a-thon on Davis Lake, proved the kids could fish by themselves on Boundary Lake, Lilly caught her first fish on a dry, and more than a few brief nights on the river casting behind the house.
Every year we get to Lynch Lake, set way back on an overgrown road in the Snoqualmie Forest, where the fish are plentiful and the scenery is good. Like so many of our adventures this summer, the weather was perfect. Blue skies and warm temperatures. I'm not usually a fan of warmth, but when you're half submerged in a cool mountain lake it's quite nice.
As usual, Henry was stuck in the Queen Mary with me. He gave rowing a try, but after we turned in circles for a short while he went back to fishing. I remember it was a big deal when the girls figured out rowing at about age eight. Until then, I'm ok paddling us around. Lilly and Clara were in belly boats accompanying Grandpa Jack as they fished the shore.
Lilly did really well casting (just like Clara at Lynch Lake last year) showing we've passed yet another milestone. Clara fished almost entirely by herself until she decided she'd rather be playing with Henry. Except I was in the boat with Henry. Well, until we went ashore to swap.
The problem is that Clara was using one of my oldest belly boats. It was literally an inner tube with a canvas covering and a seat. Not even close to the fancy new style where you sit mostly out of the water in a La-Z-Boy recliner. That meant while balancing on a submerged log, I'd need to put on flippers and step into the bobbing tube. And then Clara paddled away with Henry. Surprisingly, I didn't fall in, but it was extremely tight. (Funny. I don't remember it being so tight when I was little.)
I actually got to fish a little, which is a big departure from my usual kid-fishing trips. I even caught a few. Clara, Lilly, and Henry were having splash wars in the middle of the lake (all with life preservers on, of course) so Grandpa Jack and I had a few quiet moments before we had to head home.
Since we haven't been fishing more than a handful of times each year it's easy to see the huge improvements in their skill and patience on the water. Soon, they'll be ready for full-day fishing trips or, dare I dream, multi-day trips. Maybe we'll even provide some justification for hiking to my father by taking a fly rod into the backcountry with us. Now that would be novel.