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Showing my mom how to raise a summer run...

1269 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  skookum
Some of you may have heard this one before.

After I had moved back to Boston I had planned a fall steelie trip in the PNW, staying with my brother in Portland OR part of the time. My mom caught wind and said "oh good, I'll go with you".

Since I usually sleep in the car, forgo bathing unnecessarily, live on espresso and chocolate donuts, and think only of steelhead, steelhead, steelhead on these sorties' it was hard for me to say "er... um.... OK mom."

Well, since my dad passed away every moment we spent was to be cherished, and she has a way of making every moment truly special.

She wanted to see Victoria, we went. She wanted to see a whale, luckily the WA state ferries provided a show around the San Juans for us. After a few days of sightseeing I got real antsy, I had to swing a line.

On the way down to Portland I asked if she minded stopping and I took a detour to Horseshoe pool in Palmer Kanasket State Park. I chose it because it's a pleasant place and I could show her fish visibly. She's getting along in years so I chose a smooth boulder near the river's edge where she could relax while I took a few casts.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw a milky white shape, and it turned out to be the lips of a big summer run in the boulders right in front of us. I got excited and tried to point it out to mom, but she couldn't see it.

Choosing to present the fly from upriver, I walked up the shore. As the fly swung down, I would say "do you see it now?" and she'd say "no". This went on for a while so I switched to a skunk winged spey thing.

When I swung it down she said "I see the fly". Before the swing completed, the big steely sitting in over 6 feet of water climbed the column and boiled at the fly as my mother watched in total amazement saying "I see it! I see it!". I lost the fish but it didn't matter.

At that moment, my mother understood for the first time why I am so deeply obsessed with steelhead and the beautiful places where they exist. I saw it in her smile.

There was nothing more to prove, so we walked like huck finn and tom sawyer back to the rental car and back onto I-5 for the ride down to the city of roses.

It was a moment I'll never forget!
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Thanks Juro. That was a great story. Isn't it funny how as our folks get older, we start to cherish these moments even more. I clearly remember the last fishing trip I had with my dad and how he pretended to complain when I drug him out of the sleeping bag before daylight. Your story also reminds me of the time I took my mom up to elk camp and her glee at "helping" me skin and quarter the bull I got one morning.

Let's hope our kids look back on us the same way.
I hope so. I won a pair of Orvis breathables at the CCA banquet this year. They didn't fit so I brought them in to get another pair. Instead of getting a pair that fit me I decided to get a pair that was big enough to fit my son, who is much bigger than me now. God does that make me feel old to say ;)

Anyway, I could probably get lost in them if I tried them on but I hope the gesture gets him out on the flats with me more as the years go by. He caught his first keeper striped bass (over 30") on a fly at 16 yrs old, on foot at Monomoy Wildlife Refuge which kicks my butt by a mile. That day I was talking to him while he worked a crab pattern on a flat when he got epileptic. I asked the question again - no answer, just a spasm. Then I looked into the water in front of him and a 30 pound striper was sniffing his crab close enough to jump on! It turned and swam off leaving us both pulling our waders out of our...

He's never caught a steelhead on a fly... YET! ;-)
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That's a damn good story, period. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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