We live in the outdoor playground of north central Washington. This has to be one the best places to have a family if you are going to take advantage of all the outdoor opportunities that this region has to offer. It is hard to believe that people can live in this region their whole life and never get into what this region has to offer. People of north central Washington work hard, and play hard. If I'm not at work or at home, we are either in the woods or on the water.
Fishing has been a incredible way for my family to pull together and find some common ground. We have 2 happy healthy boys ages 7, and 11 (Oct. 2016) that have become avid outdoors men. We spend time doing other outdoors activities like camping, rock hounding, picking huckleberries, and morel mushrooms. Our boys understand that nature can provide things that are not typically available to purchase in the department stores, and that natures bounty can better than any thing you can buy in the store.
These family outdoor adventures give our family valuable skills, which is a huge reason we always go on these adventures as a family. Solo trips are not a option in our house. We are happy that our boys are gaining the skill sets necessary to target specific species. Including various presentations, techniques, locations, and when to target specific species.
This summer has been incredible. We have encountered a tremendous amount of wild life diversity this summer. We got to fish for Kokanee with a black bear hanging out within throwing distance of our boat on Conconully lake. We had the once in a lifetime opportunity to see a large mountain lion that jumped out in the road up Twisp river! Our boys have seen deer, pelicans, eagles, osprey, snakes, bull frogs, Mormon crickets, coyotes, raccoons, hawks, and many more critters. It is the opportunity to see such diverse wildlife that will create these incredible memories that will stick with them for life.
We go on these outdoor adventures as a family to build life long bonds, give our boys the skill sets necessary to be safe in the wild, and share their knowledge with their family when the time comes. Fishing teaches patients, staying power, problem solving, knot tying, aquatic species knowledge, importance of conservation, confidence, how to prepare and clean fish, and how to stay in the moment. Another great aspect of taking our boys fishing is it teaches them that no matter how good you are at doing something you will not always succeed at the task you set out to do, and that is okay.
The bond that fishing has created between my wife, our kids and myself has grown tremendously through the summer. We have had some incredible moments. For example, we had a moment where I had just lost a dandy Kokanee and was busy getting that pole ready to go again, and all heck breaks loose and the down rigger pole goes off! Our boys spring to action. Our 7 year old frees the pole from the holder and down rigger, sets the hook and with some expert net work from his big brother lands the largest Kokanee of the year for the old Bent Hook Pontoon. What a moment to watch... speechless! Another favorite moment was watching our 11 year old land his first walleye ever. We had the bottom bouncers going with slow death rig heading down stream near the mouth of the Okanogan river and WAMO! Tyler was all over it. A hefty hook set on the Ugly Stick and the fight was on with a absolute dandy 18" walleye. What a great first walleye, so proud of him.
It wasn't all buttercups, and limits this year. We still had our ruff patches and they make the good moments even better. We decided to step up our game this year and purchased a 24 foot pontoon boat that we have named Bent Hook Pontoon. Our first fishing trip of the year was to Palmer lake and it did not go so well. We had the boat out the week before on lake Pateros just to test it out for about a 30 minute run. Well I learned a valued lesson that day to remember to turn off the fish finder. Our first fishing trip never happend due to a dead battery. So we ordered a jump pack that we still have not needed to use but now we have it just in case. We made our first trip to Banks lake on fathers day and got skunked. That is okay. You can not expect to catch them every time. However that was not what made this trip a ruff one. At the boat launch I went to hop from the boat on to the tailgate and slipped. I went face first over the side rail of the truck and KAPOWIE!!! You just knocked your self out at the boat launch in front of a bunch of people! That was the beginning of the curse. Next three fishing trip produced nada, zilch, nothing. Oh the curse of Steamboat, and how it plagued us. So you got bucked off. Now what? Lets take our vacation at Banks lake and break the curse. So we did, and it was awesome. We persevered and learned another valuable lesson that you will not always have a successful fishing trip but you need to keep at it and it will pay off.
Now that it is fall, and our season is coming to a close. We can look back at all the photos of our summer together and remember all the good times, and the lessons we have learned. Not to mention having a freezer fully stocked with walleye filets, and smoked kokanee. What a great year.
Bent Hook Pontoon
Posted: October 07, 2016 05:54 PM
Categories: Bass Fishing
, Fishing Gear
, Salmon Fishing
, Shore Fishing
, Trout Fishing