Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A memorable father/son swim on Fish Lake

Recently I got a new float tube. I passed my old one down to my 7 year old son Lien who naturally, has been itching for me to take him out for the inagural float. A few days ago we got a glass smooth wind window out on Fish Lake and decided to give it a go. Within 5 minutes of being on the lake my son had water creeping into the back of his waders. Lien's frame was a bit too small to fill the seat, so I decided to swap tubes and let him use my mine. Because of my seat construction I knew he'd stay "high and dry". As I lifted him up out of his tube and plopped him down on mine, his butt caught the edge of the seat and shot it out into the lake (you know what's coming next right?). All my momentum was leaning into where the tube used to be (before it shot out into the lake) and instead of smoothly dropping Lien into a high and dry float tube, I dropped him into the lake where he got soaked up to his forehead. Not only did he get wet, but I had such a death grip on his shoulder straps that I got drug down with him! After we caught our breath we began laughing and of course looking around to make sure no other fisherman saw what just happened (they did). Being a professional whitewater guide for the past 12 years it's engrained in me to prepare for the "what if's". For those of you unfamiliar with this term, it is the opposite of assuming the next to impossible won't ever happen on the water. Because we had prepared for the "what if", we had swapped our cotton layers out for some polyproplene layers prior to leaving the house. This bought us an hour of fishing time before the light wind kicked up and Lien started to shiver. Eventually the elements, combined with a lower than average body tempurature, overpowered the insulative properties of his polypro and he was ready to go home. Up until this point Lien had not caught any trout (though he missed two takes), but as soon as we started kicking for shore he ended up hitting fish. This of course prolonged the journey back to warmth, bringing a mixed feeling of misery and excitement all at the same time for Lien. Eventually we made it back to the car and Lien rode home wrapped in a wool blanket, sporting only his tighty-whiteys. Needless to say the trip was a memory maker. I'm sure if you're around my son enough you'll here the story in his words. I hadn't had a laugh like that on the water in a long time. To share that moment with my son, to feel the pride well up when he said "let's keep fishing anyway Dad", to see him catch his first trout on a fly rod unassisted... what a gift fatherhood is. And then to know that what I feel in my heart for my son, is just a small reflection of a much bigger love that God feels for me as his son... wow... it blows me away. I hope you dads out there take the time to make some of your own memories with your kids this summer. I'm only 7 years into the journey of fatherhood, but I know enough to realize it slips by fast and you don't get these years back.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A great day to end a great season.

Jim and I had a great day on the water yesterday. Good conversation encouraging each other as husbands, fathers, friends... the sun was shining... the fish were biting. Jim got to break in his new fly rod and reel, unfortunately that steelhead straightened the hook on him as he brought it to the boat. He got his revenge later on though. Notice the "game face" in the second photo, that fish was not getting away!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Good day with good friends!

Another beautiful sunny cold day on the water with steelhead on the line! Good memories with good friends. Thank you Tom and Doug, for your friendship, for the ways you love your kids and encourage others to do the same, and for another great day of fishing together!

Monday, February 14, 2011

What a day!

Took Andy and Mike out on the boat Saturday. The day was nothing short of miraculous. The mission was to get each of them their first steelhead to the net. We had tried back in November, we had a couple chances but lost each battle to the strength of the steelhead (see video on November 6 post). As we put on the water we sent up a prayer that went something like this; "Jesus, we're asking you for the gift of Mikey's first steelhead today... that would be sweet". We worked the first section of water all morning. It was flowing a bit high but we expected to get something. After all, we hadn't been skunked in this section of water all season. We didn't even get a single take. We only had a couple hours of fishing time left before we had to drop Mike off for a basketball game, so we continued down stream. And that's when it happened... Fish on! Then another. Then another. Then another. 16 fish later and fore arms burnin' we had to pull the plug and row for the take out. We were literally catching fish down to the last second when we had to stop because one more lengthy fish fight would mean Mike would miss his bus. It was the only time I would have been willing to exchange the raft for a motor boat to drop Mike off and get back up river! The day was quite a gift. I knew that Jesus loved fisherman and the practice of multiplying fish from the sea of Galilee. Now I know he's partial to steelhead too! :)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mission Accomplished!

Frank and I set out today with the goal of getting each of our boys their first steelhead. Mission accomplished! What a gift today was. Memories that will last a lifetime. You can see some video footage and more pics on our Family Lines facebook site. Click on the link in the lower right corner of this blog page.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Get yours!

Wenatchee steelhead fishing has been good, they are throughout the system now. Black, blue, pink, purple, red, orange, flies, jigs, they all have been working. Switching your stuff up isn't bad as long as it isn't so often that you're never in the water long enough to catch anything! The key ingredients as always are location and presentation. If you're drifing a jig or a fly off an indicator getting down near the bottom of the river is key. As water temps begin to drop the fish aren't going to work as hard to get to your fly, you've got to bring it to them. Get out there, put some experience under your wading belt, study the water, and get yours!

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Good times on the Wenatchee this morning. Water was up a bit but we decided to throw the boat on for a few hours. Good news was that Mikey hooked up his first steelhead just shortly after catching a nice bull trout. Bad news was that it ended up being an LDR. Next time Mike... that fish is yours! We'll be back.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Steel Alas!

Last Thursday I got to take my dad out for a day of steelheading on the Wenatchee. It was a fun day; we hooked 5 but only got one to the boat. They were all strong fish and the consensus on the river seems to be that we're getting a good batch of hefty wild ones right now. The best part about the day (besides just getting to hang out with dad) was seeing dad call his fish. As we watched the float make its way down the run dad says "this is where he's gonna bite"... not even a second later the float goes down and we have a 10+ lb. wild steelhead on our hands. Good times.