The latest hobby at our house is fishing.
It started when I was trying to decide what to get John for his birthday. I finally hit on using the boat project for inspiration… something to do on the boat besides sail around the lake… fishing! When I started to research the types of fish (trout, bass, bluegill, sunfish… river, lake…) available in the SW Ohio region, as well as the different styles of fishing (fly fishing, bait casting, spin casting) and the different weights and permutations of rods and reels and line available for just about every specialized fishing situation that you can come up with, I just started to get overwhelmed. And I took the easy way out. I bought him a fishing license (for which I had to surreptitiously steal his driver’s license) and wrapped it up along with a promise to outfit him with the fishing rod of his choice.
I also signed us both up for fly fishing lessons at Orvis, to see if this would be a style that we were interested in.
It turned out that both of us came away from the fly fishing class interested in trying it out “for real” and seeing if we could actually do it and catch fish that way. We learned the basics of casting (along with the basics of knot tying and a lot of other basics) in the class, and I have to say that fly casting was a lot easier to pick up then I thought that it would be.
Okay, correction. Picking up fly casting when you are standing in a parking lot with an empty line (no fly and no hook) and learning the correct way to flick the line backwards and forwards for maximum distance and with minimal arm/wrist movement, and no “whip crack” was easier then I thought that it would be. I have yet to do it “for real” and see if I still think that it is easy.
We didn’t get a fly kit right away after the class. We wanted to shop around a little bit, and Orvis would have had to order the kit we wanted, as it was out of stock at the time.
We did end up stopping at Dick’s Sporting Goods and picking up a basic spin casting kit.
The day after the class we went to the gun range to do some shooting, and to sight in my new scope (first anniversary present from John) and to try out spin/bait casting. (We took turns with the rod.) We had a fun, though not massively productive day. John caught a bluegill that was deemed to be a “keeper”. I drowned a bunch of worms and caught nothing.
Then we picked up a fly rod and some flies from Orvis, as well as a second (slightly heavier and better quality) spin casting rod from Dick’s.
Following the acquisition of more rods, we returned to the scene of the original crime (Caesar Creek State Park) and had another go at fishing. John lost two flies, he and I lost a hook and bobber each (snagged on something underwater), and this time I was the one to catch the single fish of the trip. (A medium sized sunfish) Which we took home and fried up and ate.
At least we have never returned home empty-handed from a fishing trip, and I look forward to the day when we catch more then one fish per trip.