We’ve past the six-month mark on the trip. To celebrate Gus took his first steps, Mike fixed a leak in the water heater and we went fishing. We are nothing if not mundane. We wake up, we eat, we take care of necessities, we work, we fish. We do it again. I’ll be working in the next week to catch up and revitalize the blog. In the meantime, if you’re not following us on Instagram, check us out over there at https://instagram.com/raising_gus/
We’re not the first parents to take their kid with them when they fish/hunt/get after it in the great outdoors, and we’re constantly learning from other families as they take their own adventures. Stalking the Seam are some of the guys we hope to emulate as Gus grows and we continue to explore. Matthew Copeland recently posted Five Tactics for Hunting and Fishing with Kids, and though Gus is a bit younger than Copeland’s kids, his list was right in line with where we’re at and where we’re headed. If you haven’t checked out Stalking the Seam, it’s definitely worth a look.
“We pulled the trigger on a 10-year-old trailer and a 12-year-old truck. Neither are pretty and the truck immediately needed new tires, a new windshield, and $2000 in front-end work, but they were in our budget and fit our criteria—a place for Gus to sleep, a place for Mike to work, storage, no leaks, good bones.” — from The Big Year, FFJ 6.3
We’re proud to be included in the new issue of The Fly Fish Journal amid some of the best writers and photographers in the business. If you have a minute, please check out the FFJ and our story, The Big Year.
Written by Mike
I had a shot at a tarpon today. Yup. I saw one roll, hiked an extra 50 yards hoping that Gus and I didn’t slip and slide into deep water as we skirted mangroves to reach the spot where I saw the fish. Second cast I had three fish try to eat the fly. I missed them all. The first one I give myself a pass on. It was a big boil on the surface, scared the crap out of me and I really had no chance. To be honest I couldn’t tell you if the fly ever went in the fish’s mouth. Number two, on the same cast mind you, was more clear. I saw a giant (well, I guess not giant since it was a juvenile tarpon, but it was way huger than anything we have seen in the past month) engulf the fly and I strip set the fly right out of his mouth before he turned. I kind of give myself a pass on that one too, I definitely didn’t think I’d actually have a shot at tarpon, the surprise was enough to screw me up. But take number three? Oh boy, I’ll see that one in my dreams for a while.
The tarpon, ate the fly, turned and started swimming away. I had the presence of mind to watch until he turned. Then I strip set as hard as I could and felt absolutely nothing. Somehow even after he turned with the fly conclusively in his mouth I wiffed. And that was that. My energy level ratcheted through the roof, Gus lost his mind (not really, but he was no longer content to sit and watch me fish after that) and no matter what fly I cast, or how loud I sang the alphabet song there was no additional magic. We left the tarpon to do whatever tarpon do and hiked around looking for birds. It’s ok. Now we know the spot and we have a canoe. Next time we will even have the appropriate bite tippet in place so there might be a chance at landing one if we manage to connect. Here’s to next time.
Gus is a trooper. We spend several hours outdoors every day in all sorts of weather, and for the most part he goes along for the ride without hesitation. I’ve written before about how he checks out birds, explores the river bank, chatters, eat snacks and generally rocks the heck out of the whole fishing experience, but there is also this little nagging thought in the back of my head. When we’re out fishing we’re mostly doing what Mike and I want to do. While I truly believe Gus is benefitting from being out there with us, sometimes I think he’d probably rather be hanging out with other babies or rolling around on nice thick carpet. Today, though. Today, I had zero doubts that Gus was right where he wanted to be.