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1813 - Grandpa takes granddaughter fishing

A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove, but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.                              An important quote


I spent some quality time with my young granddaughter on a Friday afternoon, some 20 years ago. Here is an old column that I wrote about that experience.

 Mallory wanted to fish in our creek.  It`s not really a creek but Big Dickinson irrigation ditch. But it sounds like a creek, it looks like a creek and it has fish in it like a creek.  And it also has leaves and limbs in it. 

Well, we fished hard, my granddaughter and me.  We were working so hard, we even set up a couple of lawn chairs next to the creek as she soaked her bait. That`s what she called the goo she put on her hook, anyway.  She had borrowed her dad`s tackle box and fishing pole and she kept smearing some kind of pink or blue or bubble gum-colored muck made by a company called Berkley on the end of her hook.

She decided she should roll the stuff into a ball first and then stick in on her hook.

We were having a little family celebration at our house for Mal`s seventh birthday that evening.  It was my idea that she come early and we could get in some fishing since I had been seeing some little brookies in our creek. I have some amazing Maui Jim sunglasses that allow you to see through the reflection on the water and actually see the fish and the rocks and the leaves and the limbs that were in the creek .

 I put the sunglasses on Mallory, and attached them to her head with some Croakies. Now she could see much more clearly what was in the water.  This seemed to make a big difference to her and she got even more excited. She kept snagging leaves and limbs, though, and the fish seemed to have departed as soon as she dropped that line into the creek.  Our dog’s exciting jumping around the creek bank didn’t help too much, either. 

I had left work early Friday to be with Mallory.  Her folks were going shopping and my wife Nancy picked up our birthday girl at West School. Nancy wanted me to take Mallory fishing (since I had already brought up the idea to her) and now Nancy was busy cooking a birthday dinner for the family.

So there we were, a little girl and her grandpa, sitting on lawn chairs next to the creek, watching intently to see if we got any hits from these elusive little brookies. 

Time and again, she pulled out more leaves and more limbs but no fish. She tried other colors of the Berkley Trout Bait.  She tried the pink and she tried the blue but to no avail.

As we sat there on the creek bank, I couldn`t help noticing the setting sun glistening through the yellow Aspen leaves.  The blue sky was almost cloudless.  The air was dry and there was no wind.  It was Indian Summer in Wyoming and I was exactly where I wanted to be fishing with my oldest granddaughter.

It was ironic that the following Monday, I attended a meeting with 200 other people where the emphasis was on increased relationships among grandparents and grandchildren.

Part of Lander’s Healthy Communities/Healthy Youth initiative was confronting the fact that in today’s mobile society often we aren’t lucky enough to spend time with our own grandchildren or our own grandparents.  It was emphasized that we can find surrogate young people or older people who would like our company.  Such interaction promotes healthy relationships, which can overall help a community.  It makes a lot of sense.

But back to Mallory.

She showed incredible patience for a seven-year-old.  We drank some Pepsi and fished in several places along the creek bank.  Finally, she got bored and we went for a long walk.  As we got back to the house, her folks were arriving for her birthday party.

She ran up to her dad and told him about her fishing experience.  Her dad turned to me and asked how it went?

“How many did you catch?” he asked me.

“Dozens," I replied.

"Really," he said. "What kind?"

"Aspen," I replied. Mainly Aspen."