Letter of the Law
The Best Memories of Childhood Fishing With My Grandpa and Dad
Some of my best memories from my childhood are when I would go fishing with my dad and grandpa. We would go down to fish at a creek called Salt Creek in Utah, where beavers would build dams and create ponds. At that age, I loved fishing, so I spent hours in the days leading up to a fishing trip catching grasshoppers that the fish were not able to resist. I would fish with them and my dad and grandpa would fly fish. Then, when we came to a beaver dam, we would lie down with our heads barely above the water. It was so clear that you could see straight to the bottom and all the fish swimming around these ponds. We would put a grasshopper on a hook and cast it onto the surface of the pond. The grasshopper would float on top of the water, and as soon as it hit the water, I could see the fish start swimming a little quicker. It was the neatest thing to see a trout break away from the others, swim up and hit that grasshopper. That unique experience was just one of many I had with them. Most of my earliest memories are filled with similar trips whenever I’d get together with my dad and grandpa to go out fishing. I remember visiting Burraston Ponds to fish with what we called hellgrammites, which is a type of dobsonfly larva that lived in the moss in these ponds and the fish loved to eat. We’d spend some of our time digging up the moss to collect them, and the rest of our time, we’d fish and catch our limit usually within the hour.
On yet another trip, I remember I caught a lot of carp. They were viewed as trash fish, so instead of eating them, we buried them around fruit trees in Grandpa’s yard. When they bore fruit later that year, he had the best crop he ever had. I thought it was pretty gross at the time, but it definitely worked!
I love taking my daughters out fishing, and I hope that when things start to settle down, I’ll be able to take them again. I think it’s been almost a year or so since I had the opportunity to take them out, and I think it’d be nice to get out this summer. We usually go out to a few local ponds close to home, but the experience has given me a whole new appreciation for what my dad did for my siblings and me. When we were kids, my dad would spend all his time baiting our hooks, helping us cast lines, and getting us unstuck. Now, having done much of the same, I realize he spent all his time helping us rather than fishing. Thanks, Dad!
I went on every fishing trip I could with my grandpa before he passed away, but I always remember him whenever I cast out a line. He gave me a love of fishing, especially fly fishing, and helped me learn valuable life lessons I cherish today. Patience was a big one, and not just in the waiting aspect. Even if you get a big fish to bite, you still have to be patient enough not to pull too hard on the line. You have to maintain balance and control while you’re reeling your catch in, and that’s very true in a lot of aspects of life. I’m sad to say that it’s been a while since I’ve been out fishing, either with my dad or my daughters. A few years ago, I went on a fishing trip with my dad and a few friends to the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska for some salmon and fly fishing in the Kenai River. When you’re fishing up there, you’re pretty much shoulder to shoulder with the other people who are also fishing there — it’s a popular fishing spot. My dad and I managed to settle in a sweet spot. We caught more fish than anyone else on the river, and some huge fish, too. On the last leg of our trip, we even set some time aside to do some halibut fishing. It was a great trip!
No matter when I get the chance to get out on a river, lake, or pond again, I know I’ll have just as much fun as I did when I was a kid. And each time I cast out my line, I’ll remember those great memories I had all those years ago and enjoy creating more.
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