The Fishing Mom-Life

Posted by Katie S on Apr 28, 2020 9:40:08 AM

The Fishing Mom-Life

When it comes to fishing, you might say I was hooked at a young age. My mom taught me how to break a worm in half and bait a hook early on. Her dad, my grandpa, who I can still remember teaching me the fisherman’s knot, referred to me as his “little fishing buddy” till the day he passed. When I migrated out West for college, I learned to fly fish and joined the CU Fly Fishing club. It was there that I met my husband and life-long fishing partner, Drew.

We spent the next decade fishing as much as we could on our home waters and beyond. Then, after welcoming two children to the family, we learned to adapt our hobby and expectations from hard-hitting fishing days to “let’s make this fun for the kids”. Truthfully, we were still able to fish a fair amount, but it was much harder for the two of us to get out together. So, when Nite Ize approached to ask if we’d be interested in shooting a fishing film with them, I thought “Great! We get a fishing date weekend together!” When they asked about including the whole family, I thought, “Great! They have no idea what fishing with kids is like – I hope the filmmaker is patient.”

Fishing with kids

Fishing with kids is all about planning, patience, hope and luck. Anyone with toddlers knows if you’re planning a full day out to do anything, you’ll probably need a big bag of stuff to keep everyone happy and entertained – especially snacks, you need to pack SO many snacks. Add sun, water, unpredictable mountain weather, flying hooks, and wiggling fish, and the packing list gets longer: sunglasses, sunscreen, extra outfits and layers, water safety gear, some toys that can get muddy, and waterproof bags to hold it all. And hey, guess what? Nite Ize just happens to make the best waterproof bags out there: RunOff Waterproof Bags. So, if you plan just right, shift your expectations to a kid-paced mentality, hope for the best, and get a little luck on the river, you just might have one of those days your kids will never forget.

Fishing with your kids

Lucky for us, the filmmaker was extremely patient, and all the other pieces fell into place for a few days of unforgettable family fishing. It was a blast to share our experience as a fishing family and see it come together in a film. The truth is, as much fun as we had traveling to far-flung destinations and fishing from dawn to dusk all through our 20s, now there is something so deeply rewarding about passing on a love of the sport and of the outdoors to our little people. It just can’t be beat. If we go all day without catching a fish, or we spend more time eating snacks and splashing rocks than holding a rod, that’s ok. It’s still a great day on the river. Sharing that time and doing something we love together feels like a much more important story to tell than any exotic-destination, bro-ed out fishing film full of drone shots (full disclosure, we still got some pretty cool drone shots too). Everyone learns to fish from someone else, and often that’s a parent or grandparent, looking to share a passion, hoping to build lasting memories, and wanting to impart an understanding and respect for the great outdoors. Or if we’re being honest, maybe that person just wanted to fish, so you got to tag along! But it’s a story all anglers can relate to – that first time you got to go along, your first bite, your first miss, your first fish, and the genuine joy of it all.

The fishing mom life

So, a little PSA on behalf of all the fishing moms out there: if you learned to fish from your mom, this might be the perfect year to thank her with a little Mother’s Day fishing outing – an ideal “socially distant” activity. And if that’s not possible, dig back in those old photos, frame a good one of you fishing together and write her a heartfelt thank you – we moms really dig those. (This is your friendly reminder that Mother’s Day is May 10th.)

P.S. Sign up for the Nite Ize Newsletter for updates on when our full film will be released.

Topics: fishing

Running Off with the RunOffs

Posted by Katie S on Jun 25, 2019 1:43:28 PM

Being an angler and seeing that it is in fact runoff time here in Colorado, it seemed appropriate that I put the new Nite Ize RunOff© Waterproof Bags to the test. They have been getting a lot of attention after all (see here and here).


For those of you unfamiliar with runoff season, it’s the term associated with springtime in mountain states when the seasonal snow melts up high and this “runoff” causes rivers and creeks to rise with muddy water. It’s not generally considered a great time of year for fly fishing (who doesn’t prefer stalking trout in crystal-clear, calm streams on warm days?) but I find it makes me more motivated to try new spots and to be more strategic in my planning. It’s all about timing.

RunOff-BlogImage1

So, my husband Drew and I packed up our new set of RunOff bags and made some plans. The bags hit the road with us on our springtime trips to visit the San Miguel River, the Uncompahgre River, the Green River through the Flaming Gorge, the Upper Colorado River, and to the good ole Evert Pierson Kids’ Fishing Pond in Boulder. I was stoked to see that these are truly badass waterproof bags that stood up to the tests of float fishing, wade fishing, toddler snack-tantrums, and all the variable weather that springtime in the Rockies has to offer. The super-tough toothless zipper is bomber and the bags are totally impenetrable – even to the raging rivers of runoff season. They lived up to their name perfectly.

RunOff-BlogImage2

After our memorable spring on the water, here are the best tips I can give you for fishing during runoff time – and then forget it all and let’s get excited for summer fishing!

Runoff fishing

 

1. Fish Tailwaters

Tailwaters are sections of rivers below dams. The dams help control the influx of runoff and maintain lower flows while typically also leading to better clarity. Float fishing the Green River below the Flaming Gorge Dam was near perfect conditions for catching browns from the boat all day long.

RunOff-BlogImage3

 
2. Fish mornings

The early bird really does get the worm, or the fish in this case. For the first few weeks of runoff season the nights are still freezing and the actual snow melt doesn’t happen until later in the day, so mornings on the river are often still clear. As we typically had two toddlers fishing with us, the early morning option wasn’t a problem. On closing day at Telluride Ski Resort with skiers stopping by to watch, we spent a nice cool morning fishing dry flies to little rainbows on the San Miguel, but by 10 or 11 a.m. the sun was warm overhead, and the river had turned to chocolate milk without a fish rising in sight.

fish

 
3. Be flexible and watch for temperature swings

Runoff season isn’t finite, it can start and stop with the weather. We “lucked out” with snow storms in the mountains just before memorial weekend and saw that with the colder temps, flows had dropped on the Upper Colorado River for the weekend. We called up our good friends and got out for an epic day of float fishing. This time of year, fishing streamers can be really productive and always fun, so that’s just what we did.

RunOff-BlogImage4


4. Hit the local lakes and ponds

If you’re at a low elevation, your lakes and ponds will be largely unaffected by runoff. So, take a turn at fly fishing for bass, pike, or carp (yes, carp – you don’t need to be ashamed). Or just rig up some kid rods and make it a fun family day. Never trust the weather though – our fishing day could have been ruined by this deluge, but fortunately we had the snacks packed in the RunOff 3-1-1 Pouch, so the day was saved!

Spring storm

RunOff 3-1-1 Pouch

I’d love to hear your best tips for runoff season in the comment section below.

Topics: "travel", fishing, runoff, waterproof bags, dry bags

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