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Jansen’s First Fish

August 4, 2005

I have been feeling the urge (the primal hunter/gatherer compulsion?) to go get fishing equipment. Finally, Jon and I made it happen on Monday evening. We loaded up the van with kids (Mackenzie, Jansen, Emma and Ethan) and headed off to the Shangri-La that is Bass Pro Shops in Harrisburg. Even though Mackenzie had her doubts about this outing, all misgivings fell away the instant she walked through the doors into another world of stuffed wild animals, mountain scenes complete with a lake and live fish through a massive wall of glass. Aside from Ethan wandering off and giving us a scare, things went smoothly and we returned home happily equiped with three fishing rods, a basic tackle box, and some essential lures, hooks and bobbers.

Jon gave us a primer in tying nots with fish line and other fundamentals in Fishing 101 (somehow I missed that class) when we dropped them off. He even set us up with a nice lure without a hook to do some practice casting in our back yard. Yesterday, after a few misdirected motions, they both got the hang of it.

Tonight, Jansen and I decided to go over to the pond at Darryl and Janice’s around 7:30. We had gone over to Mill Creek, but with Hollyn and Jansen’s casting consistently finding the trees on the opposite side of the creek, I called an audible and decided to drop Hollyn off at home, pick up my rod and make the quick trek to the Weaver’s. It was a beautiful summer evening. The sun was just making it’s way down over the Manor. The sound of Mr. Garber doing hay in a nearby field. We made our way to the dock and I got Jansen set up with a couple of reminders about casting and being careful not to get his line tangled. After a foul ball, his second caste landed nicely about 20 yards out. I went to put a lure on my own pole. No sooner had I threaded the third eye on my rod than Jansen says, “Dad, I think I got a fish” I looked up and sure enough, I didn’t see his bobber. I said, “Reel him in.” He kept his composure nicely and reeled him in. It was a nice-sized Sunny.

I took him off the hook and threw him back in. Several minutes later, while I was still working on my on rod, he says, “Dad, I think I have another fish.” This one was up for a bit more of a fight, jumped out of the water once. What an incredible thrill. You talk about a holy moment. We did have a tangled fish line a bit later that took 20 minutes to get out, but as we were walking back to the van, Jansen asked, “Dad, can we come back tomorrow?”

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