How to Catch Moss

One hot summer day I took our three youngest fishing at the Hayden Creek pond. My children like to fish, and I enjoy it also. I’m just terrible at it, and I don’t know what the problem is. Possibly, I exude an anti-fish pheromone that travels along my fishing line into the water. It could be a fish-repelling magnetic field that emanates from my body. The best I can do is frozen fish sticks at the local supermarket.

There you have it: I can’t twerk, and I can’t fish. If terrorists kidnap my family, and I’m forced to do one or the other…I will certainly miss them.

How to catch moss

I understand the mechanics of it. I can make the hook and bait, or lure, end up in the water…most of the time. It occasionally ends up in a tree or bush. (Tree fish are very tasty, but incredibly difficult to catch.) Experienced fishermen cast with a graceful, fluid motion that drops their fly on the water with barely a ripple. It’s a thing of beauty…but that’s not me. I look more like I’m trying to break a pinata with a bendy straw…blindfolded.

My unique magnetic field also affects monofilament line. With almost every cast, a tangled mass of line appears around the reel. Not just a little twist, mind you, but a colossal bird’s nest of line that is only remedied with a knife. I’ve had fish swim up and watch me working on a knot, then leave and come back with friends. I swear they were laughing at me. Why wasn’t my pheromone working on the “slime rockets” then?

Between lost tackle in the trees, the lost line from magnetic field issues, and the complete inability to catch anything other than moss; I usually just leave my pole at home.

What a fish wants

Every fisherman knows that what catches fish one day may not work the next. I usually rely on my son Mason about what works in a certain location. He even explained that a bobber is NOT a policeman in England. (He wasn’t amused by my cockney accent guv’na) He told me with confidence that spinning lures were what we needed to catch fish at the pond. I asked him if there were trees close to the water.

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Mason hooked a fish on a lure his second cast, but it got off before he could reel it in. After that they didn’t seem too interested in what we threw out. Two guys across from us, however, were pulling nice trout out with astonishing frequency. They seemed friendly and waved every time they hooked a trout. Either that, or they were gloating.

Before too long, our little dog Pearl had wandered around the pond to where the men were catching fish. She stared at me across the water as if to say, “If I’m going to be a fishing dog, I will be here where fish are actually being caught.”

Mason and Logan soon followed and were fishing as close to the two gentlemen as they could without actually crossing lines. I tried to convey with sign language to my children across the pond that it was rude to horn in on someone’s spot like that. They just grinned and waved; Pearl looked away guiltily.

Dragonfly

It soon became clear that my primary job was keeping my four year old daughter occupied so the boys could fish unimpeded. She was like a dragonfly, flitting from one spot to another; barely pausing before she was off again. She was packing a full-size fishing pole (she had informed me that they had pink princess poles her size). She would stop near one of the boys and whip her pole toward the water.

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She could actually cast her lure into the pond most of the time, but she was oblivious to anything around her. She was constantly hung up in the bushes and trees, and we were frequently ducking the treble hook at the tip of her flailing pole. She wanted me to change her lure about every other cast. She would wander and pick flowers while I changed her tackle.

At lunchtime, the boys wandered over to the pavillion to eat. Mason told me that the two men were catching trout with black flies. I assured him we would be better prepared the next time.

“What’s for lunch?” Logan asked.

“Ello? What’s that ya say guv’na? Would ya care fer tree fish sticks an fresh caught moss? I say, dodgin’ the “bobber” ‘as worked up me appetite, it ‘as.” I replied as I avoided the end of my daughter’s fishing pole. My cockney impression may suck, but Idaho does not.

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