We just had our 40th anniversary and my (child bride!) Elaine has put up with my fishing for longer than humanly possible. She’s not much of an angler, but there have been times that as a good sport she’s tried to get into the fishing scene with me. With great trepidation, I thought I might share some of our personal adventures for the sake of other fishing families.
One of my most memorable was when we were first engaged. I took her to Millerton for a little bass fishing. We had parked by a nice cove and walked to the water where I saw a whole bunch of bass just cruising the area. I told her to wait for me while I went back up and got some lures for the bass. She was trying hard to be a good sport, but I saw that every time she cast the lure it would take off to her hard right. “OK, Hon, don’t cast because you’ll probably just put it in the top of that tree, so wait for me” were my less-than-wise parting words! I saw her resolute challenge to prove me wrong written all over her face as I took off for the car.
Gathering all my lures together I headed back down and while coming over a slight rise I saw her fuming – standing with her pole in her right hand and the line running upward a good 20 feet to the top of the offending tree! My lure was wrapped around a hanging limb and she had been frantically trying to pull it free before I got back. At first furious that I had gotten there first, all she could do was laugh (a little laugh). Practical and dumbly honest I told her, “See, Elaine, I told you to wait!” Irked that I had the gall to diminish her casting skills, and to predict a negative outcome, was double trouble for me. Yes, I was right, but I’ve paid for that unwise transgression many times over!
On one of our married fishing adventures, I got her to go with me to bass fish in the San Joaquin River. From time to time I needed to carry her piggyback over some shallow streams between ponds just to get to the next fishing area. We needed to ford this one spot, but before we did she took out her little spinner and cast it into this very shallow perfectly gin-clear stream. It was about 3-4 inches deep and 30 yards wide. As she reeled the lure back in, it hit a small underwater weed and she set the hook! “Hey I had a bite!” she exclaimed! Laughing, I assured her that she had just hooked a weed (I saw it hit it!) and that there were no fish there in the flowing crystal clear sandy little stream. “No! I know it was a fish!” she challenged as I carried her across the flowing water, walking right where the supposed fish had hit! See, I told her, don’t be ridiculous, there are no fish here! Determined, she took her pole from me and turned around right where I had just waded across and cast the little spinner into the stream. Laughing at her, (I know, again!) I watched in horror as she reeled the little spinner back in and out of the blue a 4-inch bass darted from under a water plant 15 feet away!
Like a little rocket with radar, I saw it home in on that lure, smashing it while going airborne and doing a tiny flip! What?? Ecstatic, Elaine flashed me a victorious “I told you so” look as she played in the feisty bass! Victory! Crushed, I could taste the crow I knew was going to be on my plate for quite awhile! I’ve concluded that God and your wife will humble you – to bring you to your senses I think! As you may have surmised, I’m pretty much the root of our marriage challenges, but to my defense I’m still learning! Though I still can’t figure out how she got that darn little bass to hit. Never give up!
Roger George is The Bee’s fishing expert. He can be reached at email@example.com,