Gaille Renee Pike
Guest Columnist
Dear Readers,
We’ve been “talking” about it for two years and we finally made our family fishing affair happen on the banks of Norton County Lake (also known as Keith Sebelius Reservoir.) I’m so glad we did. It was a blast…in more ways than all of us imagined.
Our “talk” turned serious when my cousin Jeff Stewart said, “the Wipers are biting” and backed it up with photos of hordes of fish he and his son Tyler were pulling out. When my brother Dale and sister-in-law Alicia and I cleared our schedules for April 30th AND my Uncle Rolland and Aunt Carol Stewart were on board, I went wild. All I had to do was show up. As far as the fishing went, Uncle Rolland had me covered. I didn’t even have to pack a pole.
As excited as I was, it still felt unreal. though we had a selected a date and all made our travel plans, my brother, cousin and Uncle had all made it clear that everything depended on the weather. I’d been repeated cautioned by all three of them that “we might have to call our fishing trip off.” To tell the truth, I’m not very good at fishing. But I consider myself above average in achieving a “gone fishing” state-of-mind. And put me near water on a warm sunny day with family and friends that can make me belly laugh at the drop of a hat? We’re talking zero-stress-get-away-from-it-all total bliss, and when the guys who know fishing finally gave our day a “green light,” I pictured our junket panning out just like that.
I noticed a crosswind on my way Claflin. I’d thrown a sweatshirt in the backseat but had not bothered to pack a hat. But Uncle Rolland had one of those for me, too. I figured it would come in handy. It would keep the sun off my face when that wind died down. And there was plenty of time for that to happen before we hit the lake. Teresa (Jeff’s wife) had these crazy-good enchiladas waiting for us so on the way up to Norton, I was mostly thinking about was seeing family…and eating lunch.
We can be a raucous when we get together. I couldn’t have been happier chowing down surrounded by that bunch. Then I overheard the fishermen talking and it sank in how far out of their league I was. But what really hit me was that these guys were saying “windy and stormy” is the best fishing weather. I’m glad I didn’t back out. Though we brought home only two fish, we caught limitless lifetime memories. What a blast we had laughing, laughing into the blast.
When I told my cousin that claims the wind was only between 22-24 mph that afternoon, he laughed and called it a hurricane. I stayed standing (barely) and even managed a few casts out (poorly.) And it feels good to know I’ve gone fishing hardcore.
Until next week—keep your eyes on the stars and your back to the wind.