Waaaay back at the beginning of the summer, some friends invited us to go fishing with them.
Hooray for fishing!
Boo for conflicting schedules that made it impossible for us to get together.
Eventually, we found a single, happy Saturday afternoon in which both of our families were mostly free.
You’ll notice that I said “afternoon.” No one fishes in the afternoon. Fish do not bite in the afternoon sunshine. It was guaranteed to be an exercise in futility.
But as they say, “A bad day of fishing beats a good day at work,” so we went anyway.
Have I mentioned that our friends live 300 yards away from the middle of nowhere? Seriously. Directions to their house included the following phrases:
“Turn left at the big jerky stand…”
“Take another left at the prison….”
“Eventually, the pavement ends. Keep going down the dirt road…”
After driving through the lovely communities of Nephi, Levan, Fayette, and Gunnison, we arrived at our destination. And boy howdy, what a destination! The view out their front window was spectacular. A good blogger would have taken a picture, but I am not a good blogger.
We let the munchkins stretch their legs for a few minutes, during which time Joshua discovered that our friends’ front yard contains a super secret portal through which every single grasshopper that has ever existed on earth passes through on a regular basis, and he was determined to catch ALL of them. Seriously. The boy caught pounds and pounds of grasshoppers. He wanted to take them home for Sabrina. I imagined the hilarity of a thousand hungry grasshoppers loose in my Suburban and quickly doused Josh’s hopes of starting his own personal grasshopper farm. I’m mean that way.
Once the menfolk had gathered up all of their fishin’ gear, we were on our way. We left the graveled dirt road for a super dusty washboarded dirt road as we headed up to the lake.
The lake. It was more like a glorified pond. Our friends were insisting that we would catch a bunch of fish there. At one o’clock in the afternoon. We weren’t buying it.
we saw it. At one o’clock in the afternoon with the sun shining brightly. Everywhere we looked, there were fish jumping right out of the water.
Really, really tall fish.
Even missing fins fish.
I know. My poetry skills are amazing.
But seriously, the fish were everywhere.
We wandered over to the lake and set up shop. We put out poles for Todd, Em, Josh, and Jakester.
Here’s a little side note: I do not own a fishing pole. I’m conflicted about fishing. I feel bad for the fishies. I mean, there they are, swimming happily, minding their own fishy business, when they are confronted with a delicious, juicy worm. Of course they are going to eat it, and then imagine – just imagine – the pain and terror they must feel. It’s like if you were hiking along a beautiful mountain trail when suddenly you stumbled upon a scrumptious looking strawberry cheesecake with a sign next to it saying, “Eat me” so you took the biggest bite of cheesecake that you could possibly take and then – Surprise! – the cheesecake would be all spiky and it would be stuck inside your mouth and then a mean, giant monster would pull you up to him with a string and then he would stick giant pliers inside of your mouth to rip out the suddenly not so delicious cheesecake and OH THE HUMANITY!!!!
My confession: I am not capable of taking the hook out of a fish’s mouth, or gill, or …gulp…stomach. It makes me cry.
I also feel sorry for the worms.
On the other hand, fishing is FUN! And fish are delicious.
I’ve solved my moral fishing dilemma by becoming an enabler. Todd and the munchkins do the actual fishing, while I pack the snacks, untangle the lines, take the pictures, cast for the wee ones, pull hooks out of clothes, tell the fish to be brave while Todd performs dehooking surgery on them, and yell at the kids to “Leave those poor fish alone!” when they are poking them on their string in the lake.
It’s my system and it works for me.
Back to my story.
There we were, with four lines out in the lake, when we got a bite on pole number one. And then another bite on pole number three. Then the fish on poles one and three got all tangled up with each other while Josh and Jakester tried to reel them in. Meanwhile, Emma had managed to get her line hideously tangled on…nothing. And Bitsy was hitting Todd with the other pole, because she wanted to catch a fish, too.
That’s how the whole day went. We were catching so many fish that we eventually only ended up with only two lines in the water, because as it turns out, it’s impossible to help four children reel in four fish at exactly the same time. Jakob got to the point where he could reel in a fish while eating a cookie. It was awesome! Best. Fishing. Evar.
By the way, have I mentioned that between our two families, we have fourteen children? Don’t worry though, we only had eleven with us. Totally manageable.
Eventually, the menfolk, who at this point were covered in fish slime and mud and blood and guts and running around and thumping their chests triumphantly and saying, “Me fish good!” realized that they were going to have to clean and cook all of those fish. It was time to head back down the mountain.
We had a fish FEAST!
We said our farewells and headed back home through the lovely communities of Manti, Ephraim, Mount Pleasant, Fairview, Birdseye, and Thistle.
I was really bored in church so I played with the pictures that I took with my cell phone (because of course I forgot my camera) while I was juggling fish (seriously – I was actually holding a fish when I took one of these pictures) and posted them for your viewing enjoyment.
(About that look on her face – she really was excited to have caught that fish. In fact, that is her very best camera smile. The poor child has inherited my absolute inability to smile naturally for the camera. It’s a serious genetic defect. Someone needs to do some research and find a cure for this unfortunate ailment before we take our next family picture.)
That’s all for now, folks!