June 21, 2001

Outdoor Corner

by Chris Feeney

I came back to work on Monday sporting a nice new tan and plenty of material for this week's column. As I was closing up shop on Friday I penciled out a few plans for this week's newspaper, including ideas for this column. My main idea centered around the annual Father's Day golf tournament at Timber Ridge Golf Course. Unfortunately I don't have much to say about my golfing, except that I played. Isn't there a clause in the U.S. Constitution that gives an individual the right to refuse to testify if the evidence is self incriminating? I'll plead the Fifth Amendment, and simply admit to completing 36 holes of the worst golf I've ever played.

Fortunately I have something better to talk about, as Friday night I took my wife and daughter on a date. We got out the old two-person bass boat and went to the pond for a little fishing fun. Note I called it a date, as it was an opportunity for our family to get away from it all. While it wasn't dinner and a movie or dancing, I think all involved were fairly pleased with the results.

Abi in particular had a joyous evening. I couldn't catch the fish fast enough to please her. The sad fact was that they were really biting, so we saw plenty of action. I'd hate to see her on a slow day of fishing. I have to admit it was quite a joy to have her along, especially considering that she was more than happy to dig into the jar and hand you a worm or to help you corral any fish that might slip off the hook and flop around in the bottom of the boat. I think my wife enjoyed her even more, considering she didn't have to constantly try my patience by asking me to bait her hook or take the fish off since Abi was more than happy to lend a hand.

I am a bit concerned though as I couldn't really interest the youngster in catching the fish. She loves to play with her fishing pole at the house and in the bathtub. But when it came time to let her reel one in, she was more interested in watching the splashing and anticipating the arrival of the fish than the work it takes to bring the fish in. I almost choked when I handed her my new ultra-lite rod and reel and she casually tossed it aside as if it was blocking her view of the action. Of course when I say tossing it aside, it was more like tossing it overboard. I was just able to snag the top of the rod before it all sank out of sight. Before next trip I might want to rig up a few rod attachments to keep the tackle all connected to the boat for just such an emergency.

I anticipate the next big adjustment will be teaching Abi catch and release. She was much more interested in catch and cuddle or catch and poke and scratch. She would squat down in the boat just above the fish and prod and inspect the "fishy" before throwing a little fit when we returned her new found pet to the water. I can't imagine what it will be like if we decide to keep a batch of fish for supper sometime. Maybe we can get that whole issue sorted out before deer season.

Speaking of deer season, I announced a few weeks ago that child #2 was due in November. Well I recently got the rest of the story and learned that the expected date is the 2nd week of November.Wonder if any doctor has ever induced labor a week or two early to avoid conflicting with a hunting season?

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