I have been threatening to go and visit my dad for quite a while now. He moved from Denver down to Phoenix about 3 years ago and I had not seen him in 4 or 5 years. About a month ago I opened my inbox and saw a receipt for a round trip ticket. I guess they were sick of me saying I was going to come down “soon”.
I immediately started googling around as to where to fish while I was down. I realistically only had one day to fish, so I had to make it count And I didn’t want to spend the entire day driving. My dad sold his boat years back and had not fished for a long time. It’s going to be his 76th birthday in a few weeks and I decided to rent a boat and get him on a fish or two for an early birthday present.
I flew in Friday night, and it rained all day Saturday. It was the first rain they’d gotten in 4 months, but it made for a great sightseeing trip up to Sedona.
Sunday was going to be our day to fish, and the forecast looked pretty nice.
I tossed and turned all night, excited to cast at some fish with my dad in summer like weather, something us Minnesotans are no longer familiar with.
Sunday morning finally came and like a little kid on Christmas morning I was up at 6:00 am pacing around the house, hoping dad would get up soon. I brewed up a pot of coffee and went through a few emails. And when I could not wait any longer, I yelled into dad’s bedroom, “Get up, old man. We’re going fishing!”
Clouds were still lingering in the sky over the mountains from the previous days rain. I was hoping they would clear off by the time we made the hour drive up to Canyon Lake behind Superstition Mountain. Bass are similar to bikini clad girls, they only come out when the sun is shining.
The first 2 hours of fishing were a little frustrating. The clouds would not leave and we could not find fish. I was hoping to catch some on poppers, but it just wasn’t happening. I strung up my other fly rod with an intermediate sink, hoping just getting a little deeper would coax a strike. Two hours of stripping and still no fish. I knew that if it were to get sunny for a while the bass would perk up. So we took a lunch break for an hour at a restaurant right on the lake and gave my dad’s tired back a rest while waiting for the clouds to part.
Sure enough, while we ate the clouds began to break up. And by the time we were done it was bluebird. Stoked! Game on.
Another hour passed and the sun cooked the water just long enough to get the bass thinking about getting their bikinis on.
We found a bay that, if I were a fish, is where I would want to hang out. My first cast into the bay resulted in a nice tug. And, of course, I missed it. My dad made a couple of casts into the throat of the bay and, bam, fish on. He said it felt big, but he hadn’t fished in so long he forgot to set the hook. 4 casts later another bass was on his line. This time I yelled, “Set! Set! Set!” And we were able to get the fish to the boat. It was a nice, little largemouth. Probably around the one pound mark. A few casts later dad hooked into a bigger bass, set the hook, and brought him handily into the boat. High fives all around.
Dad had not caught a fish in over 5 years and I was ecstatic too see the huge smile on his face. Happy birthday, Dad. You’ve always out fished me. Mission accomplished.