Gone Fishing!

I haven’t gone fishing in years. Possibly decades.  We fished a lot when we lived on Kodiak.  Trout in the streams on the way to town from Chiniak. Dock fishing for halibut, the little ones we called ‘chicken halibut’, 25 pounds or so.  🙂 

I don’t think I’ve ever fished since we moved to Washington State.  But the grandkids wanted to go very badly, so on an impulse I rousted out my ‘little’ brother Steve and cousin Nick. Steve is an avid fisherman, and has about as many fishing poles in his garage as he has children, times about five to allow for the various stages of fishing ability kids go through. So, we loaded the van with first time fishermen, geared up, and went down to Dash Point in Federal Way.

Packed. Not a parking space to be seen for miles, and the beach was covered with people. Huge disappointment.

So, we adjourned to Ruston Way in Tacoma and thence to the docks in front of The Dock.

There was plenty of parking,and the fishing dock was populated, but not crowded.  Most folk down there were tossing out crab rings, despite the sign at the top of the ramp that warns everyone, in multiple languages, not to eat any crab, shellfish or bottom fish taken in the area, as they are probably much higher in heavy metals than is good for people.  After all, it’s not too far from where the smelter spouted out arsenic and lead for years.

But we had fishing poles and sardines for bait, and cookies and chips and cold drinks. Shady hats, hard boiled eggs, and three very excited small kids. Putting the hooks on the poles and baiting up took a bit of time, as did getting across the idea of casting. And of not standing next to a cousin or sib who was casting.  And of not immediately reeling the hook back in and casting again.

We had a great time. The fellow next to us with the crab ring was having regular success with it. Ruth scored points with everyone when she rounded up one of his crabs who was threatening to escape while he was untangling his line.  Seems like there are very few language barriers that don’t yield to the mutual concerns of fishing.

Then Alex hooked a little Dolly Varden trout and that was so exciting.  Here very first fish, and our first fish of the day. It was probably about 7 inches long.  Into a bucket of water it went and we spent quite a bit of time watching it swim around.

Nick managed to catch a sea star, a big orange one with multiple legs, slightly bigger than a dinner plate.  But while he was getting it onto the dock for the kids to look at, the tip of my younger grand-daughter’s pole bent and I told her, “I think you’ve got something.” She gave the rod a yank and the tip bent even more.  She cranked and cranked and cranked that reel and when the shark came into view she just stopped and stared and then said, “I . . can’t . . . breathe!”  Too, too exciting!

We hauled him in and her aunt videotaped it while Nick got the pliers and carefully took the hook out of his mouth. The dogfish was between 18 inches and 2 foot long. He was admired as much as if he were Moby Dick.
 We returned him safely to the water, but from that instant on, I knew it was the kids who were really hooked. Her very first fish ever, and it was a SHARK!

By five I was ready to call it a day. The familiar pleas of ‘just one more cast’ reminded me too much of my mom. She would have been thrilled to have been there today.  Another generation brought into the fishing fold.

After a very short debate, the Dolly Varden was returned to the water. It zipped out of sight the second it was in the water.  The cat would have to be happy with cat chow tonight.

And we all went home. A very good day.


9 Responses to Gone Fishing!

  1. I haven’t been fishing for years either, I used to trout fish with my father every other weekend. The arrival of my small children curtailed that a little. And my daughter, well, she can’t stay on task for 30 seconds, so we haven’t attempted fishing with her. Yet.

  2. Dear Madame Lindholm,

    I’m sorry but i will not comment on your fishing trip even though it is one of the most relaxing things to do in the world. I do it as soon as i go back to my family’s farm in the middle of the woods in Sweden where we have plenty of lakes with a lot of pikes and trout.
    I just want to say that i am a huge fan of your books and have just devoured the Dragons Haven and during the last 100 pages i have been dreading the end … What will i do when i’m done with the book? Please tell me there will be a third one in this series? What happens with them all at Kelsingra? Are there any movies coming out soon based on any of your books? It’s the greatest pleasure to disappear into the incredible worlds and personages you have created. I am a huge fan and i thank you from the depth of my heart for your wonderful mind !
    Best regards,
    Henric Kihlström

  3. Many, many things are yet to come to your grand-daughter, but I guess she will never forget how, as a small girl, she caught a shark when she went fishing for the very first time!

    So anything she’ll have to deal with she might as well face it by saying: ‘It can’t be harder than catching a shark, can it now?’ 🙂

  4. I loved you gone fishing story. It made me remember going with my Uncle Roy at my grandmothers pond. He had a bass on his line with hooks and lines daggling from his mouth. He is also the one that got away, and broke my Uncle Roy’s pole.The fish weighed around 12 pounds and got away.I am a newcomer to your work and simply love it

  5. Ah, I remember my first fishing tour.. A quite grey and rainy day, new rubber boots and a bucket full of worms wich i was mighty scared of! Got a little fish but i cried so hard when my dad was going to smack it dead so he had to let it go:-)

  6. G’day Robin, i live on a cattle station in outback Australia with my hubby and 3 not so little children. I have loved every one of your books! they are fantastic and I have sent them to all my friends, and even my 69 year old mum…. they all love them…. when is the next dragon keeper book due for release??? keep up the great work
    all the best Nevenka

  7. i alslo ment to say we are all avid fishermen and it seems to be one of the times kids remember for the rest of their lives thanks again…. Nevenka

  8. Hi Nevenka!

    I’m still writing on it! My deadline is December 31, but I hope to turn it in a bit early and relax for Christmas.

    Then there is a lot of editing and other work to be done before it’s a book. So it is out there a ways!


  9. Hi Henric!

    I’m still hard at work on the next Rain Wilds book. I hope to have it finished before the end of 2010, and that it will see publication some time in 2011.

    Thanks for asking!