Be careful what you fish for

Last updated on Jul 27, 23

Posted on Jul 27, 23

2 min read

There is a difference between dreams and reality – and I can think of no greater example of this than taking your grandson fishing for the first time.

In my mind, I envisioned Hudson being an angling prodigy. I’d hand him the spinning rod and reel, he’d give it a once-over, adjust the drag setting a bit, open the bail, and cast the worm and bobber out 80 feet, into just the right spot. Then, he’d casually hook a nice bass, play it skilfully and finally say, “That was too easy. Do you think we can try fly fishing?”

That was the dream.

In real life, I had to tell him, “No, no. You hold the end with the cork handle.”

His casting needed work.

In fact, by the time the second cast was done, there were more wind knots than line.

So, after I untangled the line, first from Hudson, and then from the rod and reel, I retied the rig, added another worm to the hook, and cast for him. It took him six attempts to set the hook, but finally he caught what I honestly believe is the smallest bass I have ever seen. I took a photo of it, and he took great joy in sending it back into the water. (I think he might have pitching ability.)

A few minutes later, however, he was bored. So, I cast and hooked a puny sunfish, which he reeled in. The good news was that a horde of sunfish attacked the same worm, and we could see them, so Hudson got a little excited again. So excited that he accidentally kicked our box of worms into the water.

As I watched helplessly as the current took those worms to freedom, I couldn’t help but think that this was not going the way I envisioned. We then tried fishing with plastic grubs. The sunfish were interested, but the bait was too big and they could never get their mouths around it.

Hudson then let it be known that he had enough of fishing. We had been there for 10 minutes.

I thought about convincing him to stick it out for a while, but then I also realized that you can’t and shouldn’t force these things on a kid so young.

By this time, he was throwing stones and looking at bugs and doing all the other age-appropriate things.

But then he said something that made me cringe a bit. He said, “Oompah, let’s go home and play Candy Land.”

That statement hit me hard.

On the drive home I came to the realization that maybe the fishing gene skipped a generation. Maybe my only grandson wasn’t cut out to be a great fisherman.

I still smiled because I love the boy and it was good to be with him. And I took comfort in the fact that he was really getting good with the bow I had bought him – and he enjoyed it too.

But I won’t lie, there was a small hole in my heart, thinking that I might not be able to teach my grandson to fly fish because fishing didn’t interest him. And I guess I almost lost hope.

When we got home and stepped in the door, Jenn said, “Well, how did it go?”

I was about to break the bad news, when Hudson said, “Great! We caught a couple of huge fish!”

I smiled, and thought, “My God. He’s a natural.”

; ;

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