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Mack & Daddy?

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Mack & Daddy?
Back in June, I had made plans to visit Flaming Gorge Reservoir with a buddy who tends to do pretty well there, trolling. About a year ago, we went out and were able to cross kokanee off my list of species yet to catch. This year, it would be lake trout (and hopefully more kokes).

As the weekend approached, I had been mentally preparing for the big water fishing, when my phone rang and I learned that my Father would be in town for the weekend.

Having been only 10 years old the last time we’d fished together, I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to get together with him in a nice setting.

Friday arrived and I had made prior arrangements to take off early from work, check my boy out of school early, get my wife a ride to her job, and venture off into the Uintas for some good looking tigers and brookies.

About 15 minutes into the hike, however, it was obvious that the altitude was messing with my Dad, in conjunction with his heart medicine. His equilibrium was off and he’d actually fallen a couple of times.

We turned back from the original target, which was actually farther away than we’d thought anyway and required a little too much uphill hiking.

Saving daylight, we stopped at Pass Lake along the roadside, hoping to catch a few fish, for the sake of fishing somewhere. The lake was every bit as beautiful as it always is, but the fish weren’t cooperating very much.

Several bites came and went for me, and one for Dad, but in the end, one tiger on my line was all we could get to stay on. No fish for Dad, but at least we fished together.

It was a really nice afternoon though and spending time in the high country with my Father (plus my kids) was especially enjoyable.

There was a moment while we were fishing, where he’d gotten his lure stuck on something, out in the water. After a couple of minutes of trying, he handed me the rod and asked if I had any “magic”.

Almost immediately, the lure gave in and came back to me, to which I responded with a smirk, “Magic”.

The last time we’d fished together, he had spent much of his time unhooking my snags. 22 years later, the tables had turned and it was humbling to see this hero of mine in so many ways have to play the cards that life had dealt him.

It struck a deep chord with me to look into his eyes as he came to the full realization that he could no longer do many of the things that used to be second nature to him.

In another 22 years, there’s a possibility that my own son will be unhooking my snags and helping me off the ground as I struggle to move, prisoner to the medication that keeps me alive.

Life really is too short.

After getting back home that night, I picked my wife up from work, kissed her goodbye, and drove to Salt Lake Valley to meet up with a fellow forum member and his bro-in-law, then we made the long drive to Flaming Gorge.

We arrived at 2:00am. What a sight to see all the stars again! A quick nap in the bed of his truck and we were getting the boat ready for a long day of trolling.

Flaming Gorge really is an amazing place. It’s so huge, yet still manages to keep the screen on a fish finder loaded with arcs, seemingly everywhere.

Using the downriggers, we trolled spoons behind dodgers between 80 and 100 feet, then stacked kokanee gear in the 50-60ft range.

It didn’t take long and we were getting hits. Thanks to the Captain’s homemade rods, the action was easy to detect. Keeping fish on the line was our biggest challenge.

The B-I-L scored first with a lake trout:

More came to hand, including some kokanee, then I finally got my first ever lake trout:

Not a bad one at almost 3lbs. That list has gotten pretty small, aside from some rare species that I doubt I’ll ever target.

Quite a few more fish met the boat throughout the day, though we had a few dry hours in the middle, where nothing was working. We even got rained on and blown around a bit by a couple of quick storms.

Sadly, much of the camera fodder for this trip was never recorded, as my battery died halfway into our morning.

It was a great day though, and the fishing was pretty good for the most part. Special thanks to Dodger for the invite and great company.

Happy Fishing, Humans.

Lost On A Hill
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Re: [LOAH] Mack & Daddy? In reply to
Loah very touching story about your dad. I lost my dad 4 years ago after a long long battle with heart disease. I have a few cherished pictures of him on our last fishing trip. We didnt get far from the car and they were planter bows but I will always remember his smile on that last trip...Thaks for sharing. Looks like you had fun at the big pond up north.
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Re: [LOAH] Mack & Daddy? In reply to
Life is short. Nice to have such a special story to remind us. Thanks for the great post LOAH!
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Re: [LOAH] Mack & Daddy? In reply to
Another great report and pics LOAH, thanks for sharing. I also remember such an outing with my Dad a year or so before he passed last year. Times like that are priceless and are well worth the effort you spend to make them happen.

BFT administrator and moderator
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Re: [LOAH] Mack & Daddy? In reply to
Nothing more memorable than fishing with your family. I enjoy being there with them watching them catch fish rather than even catching them myself! Can't wait till my grandkids grow up!
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Re: [LOAH] Mack & Daddy? In reply to
Great story mate.

I started fishing again with my father this year after a LONG break from the sport.

It's great.

Fishing, at least for me, is about being with the people I'm with.

Hey, one thing I learned this week that I didn't know -- a legacy of my father.

I fish Left handed.

I'm sure my dad just handed me his gear and I haven't bought enough stuff over the years to remember always switching the reel directions.

But yesterday I bought my first casting reel (a right handed one) and when I put it on my rod I immediately realized I had been looking at it backward at the store just assuming it was correct.

So I ended up running back for an exchange.

My kids will also be learning to fish left handed.

Thanks Dad.

Give a man a fish and he's fed for a day. Teach a man to fish and he'll spend his life squinting at invisible thread.
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Re: [LOAH] Mack & Daddy? In reply to

I too am in the same boat as you when it comes to our fathers. Failing health has forced him to all but clean out his fishing closet and even giving me his boat. Doesn't want anything to do with fishing anymore. Great to see that at least your pops was willing to give it a try. Maybe next time you can find some lower elevation water that would be a little more forgiving towards his health.

Did you keep many of your Gorge loot for the frying pan?

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Re: [gaetzchamp] Mack & Daddy? In reply to

My dad is like yours, he won't even consider going at all no matter what. I beg and beg and he just says he is not up to it. We both have boats and he had me sell his for him 2 years ago, it was sad.
" It's all fun and games until someone loses an 'eye'".
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Re: [gaetzchamp] Mack & Daddy? In reply to
We all kept a limit of kokes and some lake trout.

That stringer must have weighed 30lbs!

Thanks for the kind words, everyone.

Lost On A Hill