Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Big 33... Part Two


The best part of getting my daughter involved in the activities I do is that I can adjust the practice to her level. That may mean shortening the time, watching the weather, leaving a little bit later, returning a bit sooner, and throwing in some of the amenities of home. That may result in swimsuit Barbie tagging along for a snowmobile ride, but if that's the arrangement then so be it. I'd go ice fishing with Barney, Elmo, Diego, Dora, and Big Bird if it means introducing my beauties to hunting and fishing. The key I have found is immersion with avenues to transition. Let me explain...

Before we even got to the lake, a pit stop to a local store resulted in a shopping spree of all things important. My daughter leads the way, determines what is essential for survival, and I only offer suggestions. She owns this portion of the day, without her input then fishing can't be fun. In doing so, we aren't necessarily eating well but nutrition isn't my concern here. Creating avenues to enhance the entire spectrum allows for a great connectivity to our time together. On a sidebar, my daughter also took the time at the checkout to inform everybody around us that her daddy was thirty-three today. It may seem questionable, but I believe that this is an early effort to promote leadership. Not bad for a four year old, picking our food and proud to inform the public that we are going ice fishing on daddy's birthday...

We met up with my father-in-law and his good friend, Vaughn, shortly thereafter. After traveling north through the blueberry barrens, we reached the lake and quickly unloaded. Before the guys had even unloaded the snowmobile, we had already hiked out to the island (well I hiked, towed, and sweat) and started drilling a few holes. Before long, the traps were in and the portable ice shack went up without a hitch...

I joked to Vaughn that before my daughter and I were finished tending the traps, we'd have a flag. He laughed, but I held true to my promise as the third trap tended sprang up while we checked the bait on the seventh tip up. The bait was stolen, but trout tend to stay where the food exists and this one would be caught. Three baits later an eight inch brook trout sprang from the hole and my daughter had the first part of her limit...



The men quickly took heed to my advice and checked there traps as well. But before they had anymore luck, another flag sprang up in my daughters line of traps. Here is where I realized another factor in turning on kids to being in the outdoors, maximize the success to minimize the disappointment...

Rather than hastily set the hook, I allowed for a little extra time for the trout to take the bait. These trout have been finicky and experience has taught that patience pays off. Plus it gave me some time to set up the video camera so that I could get this on film. What person doesn't love having a memorable experience caught on tape? I wish that my first deer had been recorded. Anyways, here's the product of our good work...



This was the second trout for my daughter which meant by law, her traps had to be pulled out. While doing this, a flag in Vaughn's row produced a brilliant 15 inch brook trout, the biggest I had seen all season. I swear this one alone was larger than the three my daughter and I had scored...



I had been watching the clock and monitoring my daughter's barometer of interest. By noontime, it became apparent that my limit would not be satisfied and my father-in-law had not even seen a flag. After some discussion, it was agreed that our day would end. The wind had picked up and even though we were at the leeward side of the island, the temperature still dropped. Within minutes, we are were packed up and commuted back to the trucks utilizing the snowmobile...



So in 3 hours of fishing, we managed four brook trout at 8, 10, 11, and 15 inches long respectively. In addition, my daughter got to show her papa how it's done and participate in an activity that really does define my father-in-law. I look forward to our next outing, but I need to figure out how to immerse a two-year old into the mix. She's ready to go, but she's going to be some work!!!

Have a great day,

The Downeast Duck Hunter

3 comments:

Live to Hunt.... said...

What an awesome story and I LOVE the fact that your daughter put the smack down on the old men. Too cool.

Terry Scoville said...

Great story and I loved the video. Oh to be young and without worries!

The Rabid Outdoorsman said...

I so agree with this statement "maximize the success to minimize the disappointment" especially with kids.

Video is great! How long did it take you to get that line untangled! LOL!

I can't wait till my boys join me on trips like this!