I don’t worship in the Church of the Bass Pro Shops. Sure, I’ve taken my kids to that midwest mecca to see the fish and the stuffed animals, but I’m not a hunter or a fisherman. I don’t know much about lures, bait, rods or reels. Waiting in the summer heat for the fish bite is not my idea of fun. And the five hours I spent on a boat deep-sea fishing rank among the most miserable of my life. But I’ll try anything once just for the halibut. I’m not saying I’ve never caught a fish–I have–but it wasn’t a thrilling or life-changing event. So what does a heretic dad like me do when his kids want to go fishing?
There are several seasoned anglers at my (real) church who would be happy to impart their
fish stories wisdom. Yeah, I could ask them. Of course they obliged and gave me good advice. One of them advised taking the kids where they could actually catch something–where they could have some success. This made sense to me, but where would I find such a place? Luckily, a friend of mine mentioned a local trout farm where he sometimes takes his kids fishing. They supply all the gear, and we could keep everything we catch. Perfect! We could all practice our fishing technique in a fairly controlled environment.
On a warm Saturday morning, the owners of the place outfitted us with fishing poles, a net, a basket, and all the bait we needed. We were ready! The bait consisted of corn, hot dogs, and marshmallows? I guess trout have a sweet tooth because the fish couldn’t resist the marshmallows, and neither could Julia. At one point she picked a soggy marshmallow off the hook and ate it. “It was soggy. The fish don’t want it,” she said. Each of the kids caught a trout, and everyone had a great time. Despite my worries, I didn’t have to extract any hooks from a kid’s hand or head or leg. Not bad for a dad who doesn’t really know what he’s doing. I may never be a fishing zealot, but I can definitely understand its allure.