Recently I had what was probably one of my best moments as a fishing guide and a dad. My five year old son Tanner had been asking about going fishing for some time. He had been helping me get the boat ready for my trips and asking when he could go. Finally things worked our for him to come along with one of my long time clients and friend- Don Lewis on a short float on the Clackamas river.
With only a few hours to float we set off optimistic about our quick trip with a few honey holes in mind. Our first spot was filled with boats and we went on down river. Tanner was having a blast rowing the boat, drinking hot chocolate and asking Don questions.
Finally with only 1/2 hour left in our quick morning mission we hooked a fish. Tanner was gleeful! He struggled to battle the fish and needed some help for much of the battle. It was thrilling seeing the look on his face and his exclamations of pure excitement as the fish ran and jumped several times. Don graciously ran the video camera.
Finally we landed the fish and Tanner quickly asked if we could “bonk it”. As it was a hatchery fish we kept it and had a great photo session. Someone stepped on the rod and it was coated in the mud, but I didn’t mind. My little guy had experienced the thrill of a steelhead on the end of the line and that is one accomplishment I am especially proud of.
Now I just have to keep working on his rowing skills so he can row and I can fish!