The majority of people I have met fishing were initially introduced to the sport by the parents or maybe their grandparents. My parents weren’t into fishing when I was growing up. Both of them would go occasionally when they were young, but it didn’t carry through into their adulthood as a regular hobby. My grandpa would take my dad and his brother out when they were kids to go salmon and lingcod fishing from their boat in the San Juan Islands, but they eventually focused their interest on cars and rebuilding engines. My mom told me that she and her siblings would go fishing occasionally with her dad while growing up in British Columbia, but as she grew older, any passion for fishing stayed with her childhood.
This past weekend, I was able to reverse the roles and be the child teaching the parent how to fish.. I put down the fly rod and picked up a trolling rod, to go fishing with my parents on their new (used) boat. They recently found a ’94 Seaswirl Striper in excellent condition and had Andrew and I help them get it geared up for fishing and crabbing trips around their cabin in the San Juan’s.
After Andrew and my dad got everything installed and organized, the four of us were able to embark on the first fishing trip…
My mom mostly stayed in the passenger seat and enjoyed just being on the boat and had fun watching fish and bait show up on the fish finder screen. (Pretty cool technology they have these days!) Andrew got the down-riggers and lures all set up to fish, and my dad kept the boat trolling until we had some action on the rods. We had a couple hits almost immediately, but we lost the fish quickly. Eventually, I took over the driver’s seat and got pretty good at steering the boat in a fairly straight line and got comfortable with the trolling motor. I also found us a fish. Andrew had just put a rod back out and felt a strong weight suddenly grab the end of the line before he had a chance to place it in the rod holder. He quickly handed it over to my dad, so he could fight the first salmon on his new boat. My dad did his best at keeping the rod bent and reeled in as fast as he could. Right as Andrew got ready to grab the net as the fish got closer to the boat, there was a flash under the surface and the fish was off.
|Proud daughter, watching her dad reel in a salmon.|
It was that moment in itself that made the whole trip worth it. Having a Blackmouth (immature Chinook Salmon that stay in the Puget Sound, rather than migrating to the ocean and back) on the line at the end of April is pretty awesome. Your odds of hooking anything this early in the season are low, so the fact that we had a few hits as well as a nice fight, made it a successful day in our minds and definitely better action than we expected. The best part was watching my dad fight a fish for the first time, and having my mom and husband there to see it was priceless.
I also discovered during this trip that driving the boat is better for me than being a passenger, because I am less likely to get sea-sick (which eventually happens 90% of the time).
Spending time with my parents out on their boat, for the first fishing trip with them, was truly a memorable experience for myself and Andrew. Seeing Andrew and my dad working on the boat together and spending time in the garage getting it ready was precious enough, but having the four of us get out on the water together for the first time, was the highlight of the weekend for sure.
|My dad and Andrew working hard, but having fun together.|
|Great feature to the boat: The “cuddy cabin” (the goofball comes separately)|
|South end of Vashon Island|
I am a fly-fisherwoman at heart, but trolling for salmon on the Puget Sound with my family this past weekend, is in a league all its own. Anything it takes to go fishing with my dad, makes it all worth it.