Sunday, March 1, 2009
Sunday is Son's Day - Day 8, 2009
Three weeks past due, I took my favorite fishing partner out to the local this morning. He turned three at the end of January, and when I asked him what he wanted to do for his special birthday-day he replied,
"I want you to take me fishing, dad."
I couldn't help, but choke away a tear at the notion, presented with a seemingly endless multitude of choices to do anything he could want, he wanted to go fishing with his dad.
"Deal, Little-Bear. What do you want to catch?"
"Green-Ones, come-on dad, I'll show you." His whole fist grabbed two of my fingers and dragged me over to our coffee table, loaded with fishing-rags. He opened up our favorite, The Drake, and paged through until he found a picture of a Large-mouth Bass.
"This one dad, this one. Green-ones." He said, almost sarcastically, like I didn't know what green ones were-duh!
"Sounds like a plan buddy, you know, Green-Ones are also called Bass." Softening my voice and looking for recognition that he had made the connection.
"Yep dad, Bass." With unknowing emphasis on the last three syllables.
The day had come. We headed out all geared up and in search of some Arizona's hardiest fish, the Large-mouth. A six weight is a lot to handle for a little guy, so after a few casts I placed him between my legs and helped him go through the motions of casting. Once we cast out our clouser, I asked Hudson to count to ten in Spanish. Not all the valuable skills down here are about fishing.
Right around ocho, the line went tight. I thought to myself, that didn't take long, and glowed inwardly as I caught a flash of our fish. Firsts are wonderful.
As luck would have it, the tug at the other end of our line was a fourteen inch large-mouth. I stepped back from my son, and watched him fight his first bass. He was all giggles and grins, announcing to every person walking by us, he was fishing and he has a HUGE-FISH on. My little angler already has the story telling part down, now just to land this fish.
A minute or two later and the little fish was flopping in the water at Hudson's ankles. Now it was time for daddy to learn some lessons. Lesson number 1; Not all fish look the same. A trout is a lot less intimidating to a three year old then a LM with spines and a big mouth. Not even for Icecream would Hudson do more then touch this guy, leading me into lesson number 2 of the day. Bringing the closest camera to the door with a 50mm prime lens is great when you can stand twenty feet back from your subject and take the shot. However, when tasked with holding the fish, rod, and camera, while getting your son in the shot isn't so easy. I'm kicking myself for not being prepared for his first Bass with proper gear. Dad's out there, if you have to hold the fish and take the camera: Wide-Angle Lens!
After pictures had been taken and fish was released, Hudson looked up at me said, "That fish had made me really tired, let's go home dad."
We rigged up, chased a few ducks on the way back to the truck, and headed out.
The last words out of Hudson's mouth were,
"Dad let's call mom, I want to tell her about my first bass."
By the time I had dialed the phone he was snoring in his car seat. The whole event, from door to door, lasted less then two hours. I will remember every minute of it, for the rest of my life.