Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Until a couple weeks ago, I hadn't been fishing since I was eleven and my grandpa took me. In the summers, he lives in a motor home on a really pretty piece of land in the mountains of northern Utah. A little stream runs through the property, and he took me fishing for german brown trout. He had to put the worm on the hook, because I couldn't stand to feel it writhe as I stabbed it, and what we caught we ate for dinner. Fishing was quiet, and I liked it well enough.

Turns out, fishing's even better on a big boat in Strawberry Reservoir with your best friend and his family/friends (four guys ranging in ages from 18-50 who call themselves "Team Olsen"). I drove up late Saturday night, ate steak and campfire potatoes, and slept in a two-man tent with Drew and the dogs. In the morning, we watched the yorkshire terriers chase pot guts through the sagebrush, and then went out on the boat.

Most of fishing was sitting with my feet up, a quarter on my fishing line (so it would 'pop' when the fish were biting), and tropical Mike & Ikes by the handfuls. Kansas, Journey, Dire Straits, and Dixie Chicks blared while my sunburn got progressively worse. We used powerbait instead of worms, which was good- all of the guys we were with swore by a different flavor, and one insisted the secret was to use the orange bait and shape it to look like Nemo.

And I caught the biggest fish of the day! After only getting a crawdad during the first two and a half hour, it was great that in the last hour I caught a great big (21-inch) cutthroat. I was hoping to bring home something I could eat, but they're doing population control for the fish, and you can only bring home cutthroat that are smaller than 15 inches or bigger than 22. Still, though, I was pretty stoked.

The one thing I didn't like about fishing (aside from the resulting sunburn, I guess) was worrying about the fish we'd caught and released. The hooks we used were supposed to dissolve extra fast, and the guys I went with were experienced fishermen who could very quickly measure the fish to get it back in the water as soon as possible if it wasn't the right size. But what I didn't know is that fish that are released go through a period of shock, and just float on top of the water for a bit. We'd sit there, cheering them on as they soon came out of it and started flopping, twisting, and eventually swam away. The fish I caught took especially long to get over being stunned, and it was at least three or four minutes of me feeling sad/guilty before he finally snapped out of it and dove down into the water.

Anyway, fishing's fun. I'm going to get a license (I only got a day license, because I wasn't sure if I'd like it enough to go again) so I can go out again.


  1. My dad is a big fisherman and we had to go fishing so much when I was a kid (standing on land, sitting in a boat, ice fishing, you name it). I think I never enjoyed it as much because I HAD to do it. I think the last time I went fishing is the summer before 7th grade. My dad took all my siblings fishing in Logan Canyon (I believe it was 2nd Dam). After about 15 minutes of fishing, my dad pulled me aside and said, "Your mother told me you had your period. I want to congratulate you on becoming a woman." Haha. I was mortified. Maybe he never made me go fishing after that because he was afraid my monthly scent would attract sharks or something...

  2. Having nothing to do with fishing, but related to embarrassing coming-of-age stories with dads: You know those "bras" they make for little girls that are basically just an undershirt cut off and finished with elastic? When I got one of those in the 4th grade, my mom made me put it on and show my dad. Looking back, I realize that because I didn't have boobs at all, it was like I was wearing my bikini top (which I did in front of my dad all the time), but at the time I was so embarrassed and mad at my mom. I think my dad was, too.

  3. I would have been mortified by that experience, as well.

    I remember getting my first training bra when I was in 5th grade. There was absolutely no reason why I needed one, but my friends (who also did not need them) were getting them -- and it was the cool thing to do. I remember one of my friends had a black one (with this kind of lace-y pattern on the sides )and we all thought it was so scandalous(!).

    Another embarrassing coming-of-age story: my older brother was being kind of rude to me one day and giving me a hard time. And my mom yells from the top floor "Matt, be nice to your sister, she's on her period!" And it was during my first period. So that was the second embarrassing experience with my first period (and I didn't want my mom to tell ANYONE about my period, and yet somehow twice in one week it was announced). Probably the third negative experience of getting my first period is that it happened in the middle of the TV show "Sister, Sister". So I missed the rest of the episode. And I liked that show.

  4. NOT embarrassing, but awesome: My friend got one of those training bras in fourth grade, and I wanted one, too, but was too embarrassed to ask my mom. One night, she and my brother Andrew and I were hanging out, and I spelled "I want a bra" in sign language, since I wouldn't have to say the words out loud and knew Andrew didn't know sign language and wouldn't be able to understand. We got one later in the week.

    When my mom was little and wanted her first bra, she just wrote in on her mom's shopping list.

  5. Not embarrassing, nor awesome: When I wanted a training bra, I went with my mom on one of her trips to Wal-Mart and I just put the bra in the cart with all the other stuff and didn't say anything. My mom just bought it and didn't say anything. She probably didn't even notice. It's probably for the better, otherwise there probably would have been a family announcement at dinner.

    But nice idea with the sign language! It's funny how embarrassed girls can be at that age. Even saying the word "pad" or "tampon" seemed so embarrassing. When I was growing up, I used to watch this Canadian show called "Ready or Not", and I remember one of the main characters WANTED to get her period so badly. And she was so jealous her friend had her period and she didn't. I remember thinking that was SO weird and that I NEVER wanted to get my period.

    Wow, all this got started because of a fishing trip entry. We're awesome.