Let’s Go Fishing

19 Sep

A Slice of Life

      Bill Lites

My father-in-law loved to fish. It really didn’t matter what kind of fish it was, he just loved the challenge.  To get away from the Summer heat he and his wife would select a relatively cool location, known for its good fishing reputation, and set up their semi-permanent base camp (usually a 30’ travel trailer) there.  Sometimes he would rent a travel trailer at a campground or sometimes he would buy a used travel trailer, haul it to the location, use it for the season, and then sell it when it was time to head home.

One year he called us and said, “The Silver Salmon are going to be running up the Columbia River and you should bring your family out and go on a fishing vacation with us.  Well, I’m not much of a fisherman, but we tried to make it to California once each year so the grandparents could see our kids (4 & 5 years old at the time) and we thought this would make everyone happy.


The plan was to fly from Orlando to San Francisco where Ivan would pick us up and take us to Livermore where they lived.  We prepared the truck, boat and crab traps for the trip to Garibaldi, Oregon where Ivan had made arrangements for us to stay together in a motel.  By leaving at 4 am, we made good time for the first 200 – 300 miles, when a wheel bearing went out on the boat trailer.  The repair took the better part of the day before we could continue our journey.  We finally made it to Garibaldi, had dinner somewhere, got checked into our motel and crashed for the night.

The next morning Ivan and I headed out early to get the boat in the water and set the crab traps on the way out to the “best fishing spot” as defined by the locals Ivan had pumped for information at the boat ramp.  That first day we were encouraged by the number and size of the fish being caught all around us.  The picture below gives you an idea of what some of the other people were catching.  This was what we were expecting to catch too.

Funny thing though, we didn’t catch a single fish that day.  Ivan was pretty upset about that, but his attitude improved somewhat as we came back in that afternoon, stopping to check the crab traps, and discovered we had a great catch of dungeness crabs

Of course, the kids were a little squeamish when they first saw the load of crabs we brought home!

Our family had not been introduced to what fine eating dungeness crabs could be, but after the initial shock of seeing how they were cooked, and getting over how they seemed to stare up at you from the plate as you were tearing off their legs, we enjoyed a wonderful, all-we-could-eat, crab meal.

As it turned out, each day after that was a repeat of that first day.  We never caught a single Silver Salmon, but Man-Oh-Man did we gorge on dungeness crabs!

On a rainy day, we took a tour of the Tillamook Cheese Factory.  That was a informative adventure seeing how all the different types of cheeses are made, wrapped, cured and packaged for shipment.

Ivan never did get over not catching any Silver Salmon, but the family had a good time and enjoyed seeing the local sights including the cheese factory.  The return trip to Livermore was uneventfull, but we all enjoyed the beautiful Oregon and Northern California scenery and a wonderful time together.

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 3:6 (NIV)

2 Responses to “Let’s Go Fishing”

  1. Linda Lewis October 18, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    I can’t eat a whole fish, either, because of it looking up at me. I do love crab, though, so I might be able to tackle this problem. It sounds like you had a good vacation. Next, time, remember to pack a lot of wine…


  2. DiVoran Lites September 19, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

    I’m not a drinker, but at the time I needed a little wine to get that crab down. Those staring eyes were daunting.


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