Black Thursday Report: Crash and Burn

It was May 14.  A Thursday.  Black Thursday.
 
My computer, the receptacle of my life, my old friend in whom I had confided so much, crashed and burned.
 
 
It was a virus of some malevolent sort.  It destroyed my hard drive.  I lost many things.  Pictures.  Documents.  Time.  Peace of mind.
 
And yet, if I were Henry David Thoreau, I would be grateful for being liberated from the shackles of technology, and I would seize eagerly this opportunity to reinvent myself.
 
I get that.  But if someone took away all of Henry’s paper and pens and pencils, and destroyed his journals and manuscripts, I’m sure he would get some new stationery and writing utensils and start over.
 
I now have my computer back up and running.  I’m starting over, gradually recreating–reinventing–my old friend.  The same, but different.  In some ways better.
 
I will attempt in the coming days to catch up on my reports.  I already have quite a few new photos in my picture files. Much has been happening. 
 
So, you see, the lesson to be learned is that losing everything on your computer is not the end of the world.
 
And, back everything up, now, before it’s too late.

Monday Fishing Report: A Change In The Weather

There was a change in the weather over the weekend, so today it was clear and windy instead of rainy and windy.  And it was warm enough that I only needed one jacket when the sun dipped behind the mountain.
 
Wind is to be expected out here, and someone told me a couple of years ago that this lake is famous for its wind.  But an old timer was telling me recently that this is an unusually windy spring.  That’s a nuisance for fishermen, but it can be a real problem for orchardists with orchards full of delicate blossoms.
 
The day was beautiful in spite of the wind, and the country is every shade of green.  I like green.
 
I had tied up a few nymphs lastnight, meaty and flashy, the way the fish have liked them, and rigged up with a big dry as my indicator.  I figured that would double my chances.
 
But the fishing was slow.  The lake is up, so that could be one reason.  The wind seemed to keep the midge hatch down, so that might be another.  And I stayed with my own ties instead of presenting a wide variety to the fish, so that could be a further reason.  Or maybe the fish just weren’t biting.  I saw and heard much less fishy activity than on previous days.
 
I thought it might turn out to be the first skunking of the season, but then, in a spot I haven’t caught a fish in yet, on a nymph that I didn’t tie, I finally had a hookup.
 
As dusk settled in I tried fishing a little soft hackle, and then a beadhead nymph, sans indicator, letting the windblown line move them around, and then trying various retrieves.  That got no interest.
 
 
So I went back to the dry/dropper rig with the nymph that had brought me luck earlier, and with barely enough light for the picture, caught the best fish of the day.
 
Of course, as it got dark the wind settled, the midges began buzzing around my ears, and the fish began working.  But I couldn’t see the indicator, and it was too dark to change my rig.  Time to load up and head for home.
 
I was surprised to see that it was 10:05 when I got home.  The days continue to lengthen.  Now I’m looking forward to that change in the weather that will find me in shirt sleeves fishing mayflies to rises on a calm lake until the stars appear and my fly disappears.
 
As they say, if you don’t like the weather, just wait 24 hours–or a week, or as long as I need to. 

Saturday Basketball Report: May Day Three-On-Three

No, that’s no typo.  This is about basketball, not baseball.
 
The boys did have a baseball game last evening, the second in two days, but it’s perhaps best forgotten.  The whole team was tired and–more to the point–overconfident and lackadaisical after two wins in a row.  So they got beat.  Neither Isaiah nor Jeremiah got a hit, so there wasn’t much Proud Father Material to post anyway.  So let’s move to basketball.
 
It was the annual May Day celebration at a nearby town.  (I know, it’s not May Day, but it’s the day in May that they celebrate, so go with it.)  There’s a parade, food, booths, all the good stuff.  And a massive three-on-three basketball tournament for all ages.  This year Isaiah’s basketball team made up a couple of threesomes and entered.  Isaiah’s team was "The Flash," the other was "The Edge."
 
The Flash didn’t win a game, but they gave the other teams a run for their money.  And their second and final loss was to their own friends on The Edge, so it didn’t really feel like a loss.  The main thing was Isaiah had fun, and we did too.
 
 
 
 
 
Jeremiah and I and a friend went over to the old caboose at the historical museum between games.  I was glad to see that it’s still one of his favorite things in that town.
 
 
 
 
 
That’s all the pictures I took today.  Next month, though, our town has its own celebration–Founder’s Day.  So that’s when you just might see pictures of a parade (Isaiah’s 6th Grade Band is marching), and even horses and rodeo queens (there’s a Founder’s Day Rodeo, too.)
 
Be warned.

Thursday Baseball Report: Be the Ball

That’s what one of the kids kept urging his teammates to do today.  You’ll hear him say it to Isaiah in one of the videos.  I guess it worked; they eked out a win.
 
Once again the whole family headed down the highway on a fine day for baseball.  Incidentally, as is often the case, we had two other team members along with us.  Makes for a cozy but fun ride.
 
Lidia got ahold of the camera before the game started.
 
 
Then it was baseball.  It was a high scoring affair that was decided by one run in the bottom of an extra inning.  We were at a neutral site, and we were home team, so the other team went to bat first and put some runs on the board.  Our team came back strong and built up a big lead.  Then, after Jeremiah had come on to pitch, unfortunately, the other team came back and went up by one run.  We failed to score in what we thought was our last at bat.
 
Then the other coach called out and asked if we wanted to play another inning since the game was tied.  The scorekeepers got together and it was indeed a tie game.  Nice.
 
So we held them in the top of the inning, and scored the winning run on a nicely hit double to center.  Final score: 16 to 15.
 
Good game.
 
Isaiah and Jeremiah did well.  Both had hot bats, Jeremiah for the first time this season, and Jeremiah bore down and pitched well in that last inning.
 
So I got some video.  I will usually not post so many–I think–since it may be hard for some of you to open them.  But here are the hits they got.  I’ve also included Isaiah getting called out on a third strike.  He was mad!  I asked if the umpire, who was our friend Craig, the high school coach, was calling strikes at the knee.  Isaiah just looked disgusted and showed me where the pitch was with a slap to his ankle.  After the game Craig talked to him and said he saw the pitch dropping but kneehigh when it entered the strike zone.  They’re still friends.
 
I’ve also included a one, two, three strikeout by Jeremiah, one of his better moments pitching.  That batter had gotten some hits earlier in the game.  By the way, the catcher is Dallin, one of Jeremiah’s best friends, and he and Jeremiah had worked out signs before the game.  Jeremiah only has one pitch, so it was funny, and a little baffling, to see him shaking off signs, then nodding and pitching.  They explained after the game, when I asked about it, that the signs have to do with placement and speed: inside, outside, higher, lower, faster, slower.
 
Hey, just like the big leagues.   But Jeremiah said, "Man, they were creaming my change up!"  Yep.  Hope they think that one through.
 
There’s another game today.  Another baseball post soon.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday Baseball Report: Big Win

It was Picture Day.  Good looking team.  I must say, I’m impressed with the diversity.  Coming from the melting pot of Chicago we wondered whether there would be any here.  Just among these boys there are African Americans, Anglo Americans, Mexican Americans, and a Guatemalan American.  Pretty good for a small town.
 
Maybe getting their game faces on for the picture put them in the proper frame of mind for the game.  We drove to a town north of us and got a big win.
 
Just before the game a friend of ours went to the store for snacks and left her baby, Grayson, in Lidia’s care.  Grayson’s big brother is Dallin, one of Jeremiah’s best friends.  
 
The game started out competitively.  We didn’t score in our first at bat, and they came back in the bottom of the inning and scored a run.  Then our boys got down to it and scored six runs.  They came back with another run.
 
Then their pitching blew up.  We went through three pitchers, and most of the time they were walking in runs for us.  After maybe three innings we finally gave up our at bat with no outs because it appeared we would be there all night if we waited for three outs.  We gave them a last at bat and shut them down for the win.
 
Isaiah and Jeremiah played well.  Jeremiah didn’t pitch, and got walks every at bat, but had a ball stealing bases–and home–on wild pitches.  Of which there were many.  Isaiah struck out his first time at bat, but then got a double before also being reduced to walks–and getting hit by a pitch.
 
 
 
 
It wasn’t pretty, but a win, as they say, is a win, and our boys needed one.

Monday Fishing Report: Loon(y) Day

The weather report said today would be mostly cloudy.  No mention of rain.  But something told me to wear waders.  Good thing.  No sooner was I on the water than the wind picked up and the rain began.
 
It was just like Saturday’s weather, except the wind blew harder, it rained harder, and the wind settled down a little but never quit.  It blew so hard that first hour that it finally dragged my anchor off the dropoff and started blowing me away.  I had to paddle hard to get back to shallower water–by then I was halfway down the shore–where the anchor could get a grip before I ended up in the Pacific Ocean.
 
It was while that was happening that I thought maybe, just maybe, it was loony to be out there.  I was the only one.  Usually that keeps me sane; today it made me question my sanity.
 
The wind settled a bit after awhile and I was able to paddle back to my original location.  It was there that these Loons surfaced, one after another, right off the port bow.  They didn’t seem at all ruffled by the weather.
 
So, like them, I kept fishing.  And I caught a fish.
 
 
Since it was now possible to actually make the canoe go to different places of my choosing on purpose, I put its nose into the wind and paddled back to the scene of the crime.  This is where the Big Trout broke me off on Saturday, right up against those rocks where the bank slopes down to the water at the right.
 
Like the weather, it was just like Saturday but different.  Everything was here except the Big Trout.
 
Here’s me waiting for the Big Trout.  I actually tried to look pleasant so you could see I was having fun.
 
After awhile I began to think that it would be loony to stay out in the rain until dark, especially since my catch rate was suffering a serious recession.  So I weighed anchor and paddled toward the truck.
 
I made it this far, where I thought I’d give it one more try, for old times’ sake.
 
Two things happened: I realized I was warm and comfortable, in spite of the rain leaking onto my person here and there, and actually was having a lot of fun after all; and I saw some fish rising way up there along the far shoreline.  I figured if they were rising there they might start rising here.  I reflected on the absence of swallows, thinking it must mean the midge hatch was stalled or nonexistent.  Then I noticed lots of swallows swooping over the water way up there along the far shoreline where the fish were rising.
 
I was weighing the pros and cons of paddling up there when the swallows began swooping down the shoreline toward me.  Then a fish rose just beyond my bobbing indicator.  And then the indicator disappeared.  Crazy.  I mean, loony.
 
 
The bite was on for a few minutes.  I hooked another nice fish, but he came off after a few seconds.  And I missed a few takes.
 
The action stopped, the rain got heavier, and the wind began to raise its voice in a threatening manner.  I was sure it would be loony to get caught in another windstorm in the dark.  So I paddled the canoe to shore.  It was lumbering a bit with the load of rainwater it had taken on.  It took a little extra effort to tip the canoe and dump it out.
 
Once the gear was loaded and the canoe lashed down, and I was sitting in the dry truck wth the heater blowing and hot coffee in my travel mug and my hands smelling of fish, I laughed out loud at the fun I’d had–or because I had not only survived (though that is definitely an important point) but overcome–enjoyed!–conditions that would keep many people away.  I felt crazy like a fox.
 
Or loony like a Loon.

Friday Baseball Report: Isaiah’s Day

It was Isaiah’s day on Friday.  It now occurs to me that it may be difficult for Jeremiah to be on the same team as his older brother if this starts a trend.  The problem on Friday was that it was Jeremiah’s turn to sit out for part of the game, and not his turn to pitch.  So he was frustrated, to put it mildly.  He played a few innings, and did fine, but when I told him after the game that he had done well he said, "I didn’t do anything!"
 
My guess is that he will have his days too.  Like he did last Tuesday; but what he did couldn’t be put on a short video clip.  We drove about 45 minutes away to play a very good team with a very fast pitcher.  Everyone remembered this pitcher from last year, and approached the game with trepidation.  Here, Coach Dale is trying to get the team fired up and they’re all watching the pitcher warm up.
 
The opposing pitcher was on his game, and struck out the side.  Our pitcher, on the other hand, immediately got into trouble, and the other team began racking up runs.  Right in the middle of the bloodbath, with no outs yet, our pitcher came over to our coach and asked to be taken out.  Please.  Can’t blame him, I guess.
 
So Dale called Jeremiah and put the ball in his hand.  Tough spot, and Jeremiah was clearly not eager to go out to the mound.  But he did, and started pitching very well.  They got a few more runs, but Jeremiah ended up getting all three outs with strikeouts.  I was very proud of him.  And he was much relieved.  He pitched for the next few innings with confidence.
 
After two innings and a 10 or 15 run lead (I stopped counting) the other team put in a couple of other pitchers that our guys could get some hits and a few runs off of, so it wasn’t a complete humiliation.
 
Now, in that game Isaiah was totally intimidated by that fast pitcher.  First he said his hands were too cold; then he had a bad stomach ache.  It showed in his performance.
 
So maybe he was ready to make amends on Friday.  We were playing the other team from our town (we have two), at home, and it was a warm day.  And their pitchers aren’t very fast
 
So Isaiah went to work.
 
 
 
 
 
 
That home run tied the game in the last inning.  But then in the bottom of the last inning the coach’s son let a grounder go under his glove and a runner scored from second to win the game for the other guys.  Isaiah was disappointed.  Good to see a little fire in him.
 
There’s always the next time.
 
After the game one of the two high school coaches, a friend of ours with two boys on this team, told Kim and me that they are both very impressed with Isaiah’s natural swing.
 
Me too.

Saturday Fishing Report: Owned

Everybody was gone this afternoon–Jeremiah at a friend’s house, Isaiah at a friend’s birthday party, and Kim and Lidia on a trip to WalMart–so I went fishing.  There were many campers, mostly young males, and they were on and off the lake throughout the afternoon–even lining up on the bank to fish this evening.  They were loud, F bombs were going off every second or so, they were loud–but they were having lots of fun.  Boys will be boys.
 
The day had been beautiful–warm and calm–right up to the time I pushed off the shore.  As soon as I dipped the paddle it started to blow, from the south this time.  So I changed my plans.  Instead of going back to the lower lake–south–I anchored just a few yards off my launching point.
 
The wind steadily increased in intensity, and then, for the next hour, it howled. Boats beat for shore everywhere until I was the only one out there, dancing like a big green kite at the end of the anchor rope.  It wasn’t long before it started to rain, so then it blew and rained. 
 
All at once the wind just blew away.  But the rain stayed.  Boats began to ply the waters again.
 
I had been fishing–wind or no wind–with an indicator and a nymph.
 
And I caught some fish.  These are nice fish.  I’m very happy to have caught them.  But I confess they lost some of their luster after what happened later.
 
 
 
With the water calm I paddled south through the rain, heading for my original destination.  That’s when I found the line of four or five guys standing on the bank and casting wayyy out with spinning rods and weighted lures that went BLOOP.   I would have had to make a wide swing to stay out of their line of fire, so I pulled up in John’s Cove instead.

 
Some fish were moving, and I saw several nice rises, so once again I decided to tempt fate and try to entice a rise on top.  I took off the indicator and tied on a floating nymph and gave it my all, to no avail.
 
So I went back to the indicator, but this time with a short dropper, maybe 10 inches.  Nothing.
 
It was getting dark, and even though I had on one more layer than I did the other night, I was getting chilled.  It was still raining, and my jeans were soaked, and water was running down my neck.  I raised anchor and began the paddle for shore.  But on the way I saw something I had seen a couple of times during the last hour: a big fish making a big splashing rise right up against the bank.  This time it was just a few feet away to my left as I glided toward the channel.
 
I took a sharp left and put the nose of the canoe up onto the rocky shore.  I saw the fish moving around–wallowing–in just a few inches of water, its big back sticking out.  Then it would make a little circuit out into the deeper water, making big swirling rises.  ( I know I’m probably exaggerating the size of the fish–but who really knows?!)  I thought maybe my short dropper was just the ticket, custom made for this fish in this setting.
 
So I flang it.  That’s exactly what I mean.  Those of you who fish know that you might make a hundred perfect casts through the day, but when you can see where a very nice fish is, right there just a simple cast away, something goes haywire.  You flang.
 
I completely missed the spot and bounced the indicator off the rocks on shore.  Then I wrapped the indicator and fly around the rod and had to take time to untangle them.  Finally I made an acceptable cast and put the fly down right where I wanted it.
 
By now, of course, I hadn’t seen any sign of the fish for several minutes.  I figured I had put a good scare into him.  But I let that indicator bob there in that shallow water for a long time.  Finally I started to slowwwllly strip the line in.  As soon as that fly twitched, he was on it.  The line tightened and the indicator went TWANG!  I hadn’t seen any sign of his presence, but it was as though he had been crouched there watching that fly, waiting for it to do something.
 
I raised the rod and felt a solid hookup.  Then I felt one big yank, as the water exploded, and he was off–and long gone.  The ripples were still subsiding as I checked the fly: gone too.
 
It seems early in the season to get so thoroughly owned by a fish.  And it seems early in the season to be casting into skinny water up against the bank.  But that’s for sure where I’ll be flanging next time.

Monday Fishing Report: Satisfaction

The lake opened last Saturday.  I went today.  And if the state of satisfaction includes a sense of deep contentment, then satisfaction is the word for the day.
 
The drive in was dusty.
 
There were fewer people than I had feared, though there were signs of weekend campers who had pulled out lastnight or this morning.  But the man with the annoying voice and the three dogs who are constantly disrespecting him is back.  Last year he was here for a month or more.  So once again the forests and lakes will ring with the sound of "Lucky!  Dot!  Jag!  Get over here!!!"
 
It was good to see the canoe loaded and waiting on this shore again.  And ready to breast the waves raised by a typical brisk, cold Spring wind.  The predicted high in the valley was 59, but up here one can expect it to be 10 degrees cooler.
 
I dropped anchor around John’s cove.  It held.  Trolling was out of the question because of the wind, so I tied on a strike indicator with a nymph dropper and let the wind troll for me.  (Yeah, it’s a bobber; the lazy man’s way to fish.)  I tried a few different nymphs, then lengthened the dropper, then tried a big nymph instead of the tiny ones I had been using.
 
Fish were jumping, but I had no takes. 
 
I quartered across the wind and paddled back and across to another shoreline.  It took me two tries; a strong gust turned me the first time.  This pair of Goldeneyes was enjoying a small crescent of slack water in the lee of the shore, and so did I.  (Incidentally, as I looked up the Goldeneyes to make sure of my identification, I discovered that I misidentified the grebes in my recent posts.  They’re Red-necked Grebes, not Eared Grebes.  Duh.) 
 
There was some shelter from the wind, but it would remember where I was and blow crosswise at me just to keep me from enjoying the warmth of the sun whenever it peeked out from a scudding cloud.
 
From my new spot I could look south across the length of the lower lake to the small village of RVs and Campers still in place at the south campground.  You can also see a cloud of dust from the heavier than usual traffic up and down the road.
 
Well, it was time, apparently, in the Grand Scheme of Things, and the indicator dipped and I came up solid to a nice fish.  This was the first I have used my light rod since last Fall, and it felt good.  He came fairly easily at first, but when he saw the canoe he ran strong and leaped high.  After that it took a little coaxing to get him to the net.
 
With apologies to my sister, who thinks the trout in my pictures always look "aghast" (I can’t disagree), and who does not like to see gaping mouths and hooks piercing flesh, here’s my first trout of the season from the lake, mouth gaping and hook imbedded.  
 
 
Later in the season I won’t give this a second thought, but today, here, after the first trout of the season, fish slime and a few silver scales on my jeans take on talismanic significance.
 
The sun and clouds were creating their usual astounding works of art on the canvas of the landscape, a different one every time I looked.
 
Then, just after the sun had settled behind the mountain, changing the light, I caught a second fish.  With apologies to my sister….
 
 
By then I had already missed several good takes.  Maybe the increasing cold seeping into my bones was a factor.  But then I caught a third, the smallest but gamest of the day; he managed to escape as I was taking him out of the net.
 
Then more misses, and finally a fourth.
 
The moon appeared in the deepening dusk, like a bird of prey poised to stoop.  I stayed until I had to strain to see the indicator, and could no longer control my shivering in the constant wind.  The moon was much brighter and its dive to the mountain almost complete when I paddled into the teeth of the wind and beached near the truck.  
 
I was shivering, my eyes felt sandpapered by the wind and dust, my shoulders ached from bucking the wind with my paddle, I felt like I was rocking, rocking even after I had climbed out of the canoe, and I had to be satisfied with four fish.
 
And, oh, I was.

Friday Fishing Report: Shake Up Cruise

The best laid plans of mice and Dads….
 
The boys and I had planned to go fishing today at the same place I fished on Monday and Tuesday.  I had scouted it out, found a good spot, and tried out some techniques that gave them a good chance of hooking a trout or two, I thought.  I had visions of posting video of them reeling in trout.
 
Well, today at school Isaiah invited his friend Smith (that’s his first name) to come along, so Smith came home on the bus with him.  So there he is.  Then when Jeremiah’s friend Ian shows up at the door to play like he does almost every day, Jeremiah invited him, too.  The first I knew of that, Ian had already run home across the pasture and brought back his rod and tackle box and was wired to go.
 
"Just say, No."  Right?  Well, no.
 
I’m an optimist.  I thought we could figure something out to make everyone happy.  Even me.
 
So we loaded up.  Here are the five of us ready to venture forth.  (Yes, five.  I realized when I got this on my computer that I’m reflected in the window behind Jeremiah.)
 
So far so good.  Even though Jeremiah and Ian had to ride in the back.  Actually, they were happy that they had to ride in the back.  We tooled into town, having seen a big plume of smoke from an unusual early season fire way up on a mountain to the north.  Maybe I should have taken that as an omen.
 
We stopped to buy some worms.  Because of differences in fishing preferences and equipment, this would be a "one from Column A, one from Column B…" kind of trip.  I think Jeremiah and Ian are naming them.  Either that, or telling them in vivid detail what was going to happen to them.   
 
We stopped on the way at our friend Ben’s house.  He has some apple trees, and has given our family a whole tree.  Goldens.  My favorite.  All we have to do is care for it through the year and the fruit is ours for the picking.  It’s past due for pruning, so part of the original plan was for the boys and I to do that chore before going on to fish.  With the pickup load full, I stopped to say we’d skip it this afternoon.
 
I also needed to ask if he had an old rod Ian could use, since the one Ian brought turned out to have next to no line, and wouldn’t cast.  So Ben went out back and looked through an old camper and found one.  In there were these beautiful old rods and reels, still in use, but probably older than I am, or close to it.  Ben remembers them from his childhood, and he’s pushing 70 if he hasn’t already passed it.  The middle one was Ben’s Granddad’s, what Ben called his "stream pole."
 
Back to the urgency of the now, the insistence of the young.  I had come up with a new plan, one with which all hands agreed.  Ian and Jeremiah would bank fish with worms while I took Isaiah and Smith out in the canoe to hang a nymph from a bob–strike indicator.  Then they’d switch.  And everybody would catch fish, and everybody would be happy.  Ian had brought three plastic shopping sacks to put all his fish in.
 
So I got the younger boys all rigged up.  I could tell right away from reading this subtle body language that we might be having a problem.
 
I went back to the bigger boys and we got the canoe off the truck and began loading some gear.  We hadn’t even launched when the two younger boys came straggling back around the trees with all their gear and said, "There aren’t any fish there!"  And their lines were completely tangled and snarled–together.
 
I’m telling you, this is some kind of miracle, although I have seen it now many times.  I do not understand how such intricate tangles can happen so quickly unless by divine intervention.  The only thing I can figure out is that it’s some form of penance for my past sins.
 
Meanwhile there had been two other major negative developments.  Two flyfishermen had come in just before us and launched their fancy-schmancy pontoons and were fishing in the exact area I had been counting on for the boys.  And, the wind began to blow a gale straight in toward the launch.
 
So we had a council of war, and the younger boys agreed to stay out of trouble for awhile and wait for their turn in the canoe.
 
And you know what?  The big boys and I went out, and we survived.  They barely fished in that hectic ten minutes as I fought the gale, my only weapon one thin paddle.  They really couldn’t cast without a wind, let alone with this one, and they’d get the fly stuck in their hand or the line tangled around the paddle, or my head, so I’d stop to help and the wind would push us into the willows, and then I’d have to paddle like crazy to get us on our way again before the next thing I’d have to stop and help with.  When all was said and done they had only managed to troll with a big dry and nymph dropper, hardly the recommended combination of flies and technique.  They may have been the first ever to try that.
 
A picture was out of the question, alas.
 
Meanwhile I had been managing to ignore the sounds of Ian and Jeremiah rooting through the brush and finding beer bottles to drop in the irrigation channel that flows into the lake.  And we had also managed to mostly stay out of the way of the hoity toity flyfishermen with their thousand dollar rods and elitist attitudes.
 
One of them had rowed back to the launch to get them a couple beers–micro-brews–and was rowing back out as we guided the canoe in to a safe landing.  Ian came running up with his rod–untangled!–and said, that nice man had helped them untangle them.  Whaddaya know.  (What, is he nuts?)
 
Then, you know what?  I took the younger boys out in the canoe, too.  No fishing this time, but a fast trip over the bounding main.  And then back safe and dry once again.
 
There was another omen on that little circuit: a trout launched himself out of the water right in front of Jeremiah.  His eyes popped out and he couldn’t get over it for a few minutes.  And it was the first thing he told Isaiah and Smith about when we got back to the truck.  That’s the kind of mental image that begins to beckon one back.
 
Well, we got everything and everybody back in and on the truck ready for the trip home.  The worms?  We’d used exactly one half of one.  So we set the rest free.
 
On the way home, the fire looked under control, and all the boys seemed to have had a smashing good time, in spite of not really fishing at all on our big "fishing trip."  And though my expectations had been throughly thwarted I had to reluctantly agree that it had been a satisfying adventure.  The videos can wait.  We agreed that we would do it again, if the weather was good–
 
On two separate occasions, two boys at a time.