Grandkids and Grandparents have a lot in common. Both appreciate life, they don’t usually get to see each other as much as they would like to, and they have a good deal of spare time. Kids want to learn stuff and seniors are in a great position to teach. What could be better?
This seems to be especially true when it comes to fishing. One of the popular activities for many RVers seems to be throwing a line into the water. What’s even better is a good many parks are within a few miles, or in some cases feet, of a lake, river or stream.
Fishing has a lot to offer. It is great for optimists, takes you into some mighty pretty places, and can be as active as you want it to be. If Grandpa wants to take it easy and nap, the grandkids can chase bugs, dig in the sand, throw rocks, and generally enjoy the great outdoors. On a fast day, there are lots of bites, and a slow day, lots of sandwiches.
One of the best old traditions I know of is “passing the pole.” I vividly remember a hot day in June when I was out camping with my grandpa on the San Joaquin River near Modesto in California. He passed me the pole when he hooked a big bass and I lost it. He grumbled at me for a whole week.
Sadly, my kids are a bit slow in reproducing our species, so I don’t get much of a chance to “pass the pole” with my own grandkids. However, this last September, I had a great day on the Columbia River, fishing on the beach at Fort Stevens in Oregon. The salmon were running and the bite had been pretty good.
My buddy from my fly fishing club, Bob May (who looks a lot like my Grandpa), and I were fishing with his grandson, Trevor. Trevor is a fine young angler, but was having a slow day. I seemed to have the hot rod and already had a nice silver on the beach. I lobbed my spinner over the flat water and started to retrieve. I felt a solid pull on my flying C spinner. I set the hook and the water boiled some thirty yards seaward. When the great fish rolled I saw its massive tail.
It was a big Chinook, a King salmon of considerable girth. Sadly, it was for sport only, and we could only keep silver salmon during that particular week. (Regulations for the Columbia River season are constantly changing.)
I glanced over to my right and saw Trevor watching my rod bounce. This was a perfect time to pass the pole. “Hey buddy, come on over and handle this for me, I don’t think I have enough strength for one this big.” Trevor glanced over to his Grandpa to see if I was OK. Bob nodded for him to go ahead, and the youngster waded over to me.
I took his rod, handed mine to him, stepped back onto the dry sand and watched the action.
For the next 20 minutes the big fish and the little boy engaged in battle. The fish charged out to the middle of the River and Trevor was helpless to slow the monster and hoped for the best. The fish finally tired and road the waves back to the beach.
As he got closer, Bob transitioned from giving encouragement to being a “gille,” helping his grandson beach the fish, then unhook it and guide it back to the deep water.
The fish was huge, well over 30 pounds. It was certainly one of the largest I ever hooked on that beach and the biggest the youngster had ever brought to land. While it didn’t make the slightest bit of difference whether the fish was landed or not, Trevor had finished the fight and his Grandpa wouldn’t be moaning over the one that got away. It was a perfect day on the water and Trevor wasn’t going to get grumbled at whatsoever.