Gregg's Birthday

 

Gregg is one of our long time customers who is passing his love of fishing on to his daughter Rayna. He spent last weekend and his birthday with her on the water and was kind enough to share the story. Enjoy!

 

Birthdays seem to lose their flair and excitement as I got older.  Instead of celebration, it became more of a reminder of how old Iím getting; like mile markers on the roadside.  The odometer clicks upwards and itís telling me that eventually, something is going to wear down, break, or fall off.  So far, only my hair is falling out in a typical male-pattern-baldness. 

Rayna watches ďWild KrattsĒ.  Itís a PBS kidís show/cartoon about creatures in the wild.  One episode was about the largemouth bass.  She watched that particular episode on our DVR over and over.  I asked if sheíd like a chance to catch a largemouth bass.  Her eyes lit up and she started to get antsy, as all little kids do when they get excited. 

I started to get excited, too.  This could fall on my birthday weekend.  A birthday I could get excited about in years.  Not just a few minutes after talking to her about taking a bass fishing trip, Stan Wright was on Letís Go Fishing at the lake.  That episode sealed the deal and thatís when I inquired about a guide.

Not too long after a coincidental meeting with Chris, we booked a date for the following weekend.  In the meantime, we had to get prepared!

We did some shopping.  First, proper fishing apparel (and yes, whatís a dress code without the pink?).  I decided she also needed to practice casting a spinner, so I picked up a small set-up for her.  It was getting late in the day, so we decided to get into some practice the following day after her dance/ballet class. 

Sundays usually have a lazy start for us.  Sleeping in (if Iím not fishing), cartoons, late breakfastsÖ  But that wasnít the case on this particular Sunday.  She was up before me watching that largemouth bass episode on the DVR.  I didnít know she could search for her shows.  We got her dance and fishing things ready and we set out for the day.  Dance class is only an hour, but it felt soo long in anticipation of practicing fishing. 

After the doors opened and the kids let out, I picked her up, threw her in the truck, and we were off and in the water in no time.

Her first cast.

And her first fish on her first cast!

She caught a few more, and she was so happy.  I was happy the skies gave us an hour to play.  The weather was really unstable and heavy raindrops fell.  An hour was enough for us to play.

We had a week to prepare for our fishing date.  Casting practice, packing and organizing our gear, figuring out what to bring without bringing too muchÖ  I tried to get her involved in the process.

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Tying up some gold flashabou flies.

Before we knew it, Saturday arrived.  We met Chris at the ramp, jumped in his Bass Tracker, and off we went to the first spot.  Chris is very cordial, easy to talk to, and very knowledgeable of the lake.  Most importantly, he was very kind, sincere, and patient when it came to Rayna.  I really wanted this to set a standard for her, and what Chris did far exceeded my expectations.

Weíre at our first spot patiently waiting.  The weather was beautiful that day.  I think the fish were sleeping in.  There was no activity but she sat there waiting.  We moved around the lake a little, and then, I saw my first ďbusting fishĒ moment.  Itís actually pretty exciting to see.  Chris got us on that pile right quick.

A double!  Chris was kind enough to take my rod while I took photos and a short video.  He worked the fish, the boat, and the kid like a master at his craft.

Then Rayna hooks into another!

Then she gets a chance at a peacock bass!  Photos and film donít do the largemouth and peacock bass any justice.  I could really appreciate its beauty up close in their coloring, the striations, and the life in their eyes.

We tried for red devils, but no takers.  If we caught one, would that be a lake slam? 

It was an awesome day.  It was an awesome birthday weekend for me.  What made it so great was seeing the excitement and joy and wonder in Raynaís eyes.  Itís a mile marker Iíll remember, and Rayna is already looking forward to another day on the lake.


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