|"I just hate it when I get desperate". No, that's not a quote from a wanna-be lothario around last call for alcohol time. Rather those were the words of the "Master Caster" my brother-in-law, Michael, during an unfortunate
dry spell at Odell Lake fishing expedition ... Day 3.
Produce Profilers, as much as I do enjoy my job, sometimes it doesn't enjoy me. Hence a recent holiday venture to our neighbor to the north, the green state of Oregon.
My wife, my thirteen year old bean sprout and I went to visit my wife's relatives and also to get some much anticipated R & R. Our plan was similar to that of last summer. Spend a couple of days visiting and also preparing (ie-cooking) for our trip to
Odell Lake, situated in the south western neck of some very green woods. Once at Odell, the fisher folk in the crowd were planning on a successful assault on the local Kokonee (a lake salmon), much as we did in summer of '02.
To be blunt, the fish had a far different idea. What started out to be an enthusiastic maritime adventure slowly turned into a valuable life lesson. Which was that even when I do everything right (I think), things go wrong.
Day 1- Monday
We arrive, rarin' to go and slip the sturdy aluminum fishing boat into the water for a quick break-in jaunt. We load up the gear, a couple of kids including my bean sprout, Sarah Bella, and away we go. The Master Caster and Captain of the Ship, my bro-in-law Michael
is confidently at the helm.
A couple of hundred yards out I drop in my line for a test troll. A while later, "Fish on!" (Fisherman are very enthusiastic.) My heart jumps to the middle of my throat and I start 'a reeling. Remembering the lesson of last year, I slowly but steadily
reel in the line and maneuver so I can bring this inaugural catch to the side of the boat. That was all fine until that slippery, silver creature slipped the hook and disappeared into the cold green water. So far, Fish 1, Guido 0. What I was left with was disappointment and a
fish lip dangling from
Flicking said fish body part onto the floor of the boat, I was met with a disgusted look from Sarah Bella. At which point she added, "Papa, did you really have to do that here." In all the excitement I hadn't noticed I had made the deposit right
at her feet. Was that a fishing fax pause?
Day 2- Tuesday
Rub a dub dub, three fishermen in an aluminum tub. This time it's me, Michael and his son John. Six AM and we're out for a full morning of successful fishing. We thinks. Same bait as last year, white corn kernels soaked in WD-40. (Nope, this year it was Liquid Wrench. Maybe THAT was the problem.) Through
numerous bait changes, different riggings, different weights, the outcome was was the same. No fish.
What to do. What to do. Just like baseball. There's always tomorrow, which there was.
Day 3- Wednesday
For part of the morning, we traded out John the Fisherman for Leslie the Fisher-woman (my wife's daughter). Maybe a new crew member would change our luck. Not much.
That day, upon taking some advice from a local angler, we moved fishing spots to the far side of the lake, added more weight to our line and fished at a deeper level. After all of that and five hours of fishing, the boat totaled one fish. It was mine and a fat
one at that!
And then we found the magic answer! The solution to our lack of fish fix! The fish needed glasses!! Turns out there exists too much algae in the water and the fish couldn't see our nifty fish attractants. Again, what to do. Change lakes.
Day 4- Thursday
Our new fishing hole was now Crescent Lake a mere five miles from our cabin home, but miles away from our bad luck. Or so we thought. Again a new crew. This time it's me, Michael and Devin, my wife's eldest grandson. The long and short, two more fishies, both mine. Hey, we were all a bit sad. None
more than Michael, who wanted all of us to catch our limits.
But we all had a ball, got lots of quiet family time together and added to our "the one that got away" stories. Besides, I got a pretty good tan out of it.