Saturday, July 7, 2012

Daddy - Daughter Fishing Trip

Yesterday I asked Elizabeth if she wanted to come fishing with me in the little boat, I was pretty excited when she said that she did!  Its been a while since we had the boat out as we have been extremely busy moving out of the old house, getting settled into the new house, business trips, etc.  So finally I thought it was time to get it out and check out one of the famous high country lakes; Spinney Mountain Reservoir.

We loaded up the boat and the truck and headed out, Elizabeth had a great nap on the way out.  Unfortunately the lake is about 2 hours away but it is legendary for its monstrous trout.  We dropped by the Chaparral Park General Store and picked up some interesting lures from Australia that seem to be all the rage: Tasmanian Devils.  I bought 3 of them and let Elizabeth pick out the one she wanted on her rod.  She picked the Pink and Yellow one.
It turned out that depite having 3 different rods in the water all of the fish were caught on Elizabeth's Rod.  Halfway through our adventure after eating our lunch, we hear the drag on Elizabeth's rod start to sing.  I was convinced the rod was snagged on the bottom but after tightening the drag applying a little pressure I was shocked to feel a BIG fish on the other end.  I handed Elizabeth's rod back to Elizabeth while I pulled in the other rods and got them cleared out of the way. 
Elizabeth wasn't making any headway on the fish and I was getting concerned that there wasn't much line left on the spool - I really didn't want to let this one get away!  With the boat clear of extra lines I turned it towards the fish and helped Elizabeth to real it in.  She did a great job especially once it got close to the boat - a lot can go wrong but Elizabeth listened well and kept it clear of the engine.  It still had a lot of fight left in it but eventually we got it in the net and into the boat.

Hard to believe at barely 5 years old Elizabeth has now landed a trophy trout that many people try  their whole lives to catch and are eluded by.  Great work!

I couldn't resist snapping a photo of these two characters on the way home.

On the way back we drove the entire way home through a thunderstorm.  We decided to stop and get a snack at Coney Island - a random restaurant that is shaped like a hot dog.  Elizabeth got a chocolate milkshake and once wound up on sugar decided up don this creative little number!

Gotta love this pose!  We had a great time - I'm really looking forward our next adventure!

Adventures on the Colorado River

Casey and I found this spot earlier this year during the Salmon Fly hatch and I thought it would make a great place for the whole family.  We have been back 3 times now!  An added bonus, the towns of Dillon and Silverthorne are are right on the way.  We usually pick up sandwiches at the Smiling Moose Deli (of course!) and we have been eating dinner on the way home at a brewery in Dillon.  Cutthroat Anglers in Silverthorne is also a great fly shop that is generous with the stream reports and fishing intel.

It didn't take Elizabeth long to pull a nice brown out of the river.  She keeps getting better at handling a fishing rod every time we go out!  It won't be long before she is out there with a fly rod!
One of the places we stop along the river is where a small offshoot of the river rejoins the main body of water.  The offshoot is slow and shallow water that the kids can explore.  They have a blast looking for various bugs and playing in the water. 

Of Course Elizabeth couldn't believe all of the amazing bugs you can find on this river.  This is by far the largest river we visit in Colorado and it has some interesting bugs that we don't typically find on the other trout streams we frequent.  This Salmon Fly makes for one delicious meal for a hungry trout.  I had a great time throwing big dry flies to these trout while Elizabeth was catching her bugs!  Unfortunately the big fish that took my Salmon Fly imitation shook out the hook before we could be properly introduced.

We also found a nice shady spot under a huge pine that proved to be an excellent spot to escape the sun and eat some lunch.

Further up stream is a great little spot to fish and has a decent spot for the kids to play where the water is nice a shallow and doesn't flow to fast so the kids can play.  There is even a somewhat sandy spot for the kids to play in.  Kate and I took turns fishing and playing with the kids.
This is a pretty fun little spot that I'm certain we will come back to in the future.  The kids just love it here too which makes it a lot of fun.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Elizabeth's 5th Birthday

It is hard to believe that my baby girl is 5 years old!  I know that I am going to say that my entire life, but really, I woke up on her birthday, blinked, and saw a teenager.  Ok, not that fast but still.
Elizabeth is such an amazing little girl.  She always wants to please and help me with everything, from cleaning and cooking to assisting with Andrew when he needs someone to play with.  She is still 100% into bugs and is truly the embodiment of the word naturalist.  When we go to the park, she likes to play on the slides and swings and then will find a shady place under a tree to lay down and look at the sky and relax.  And then she is up looking for bugs.  That girl can find bugs everywhere.  Which also makes me realize all the places bugs live, i.e. everywhere.

Let's see, I might as well do a favorites at 5:
Food- fruit, mainly strawberries and blueberries.  She will literally eat an entire pint of blueberries if you put a bowl of them down in front of her.
Movie- Changes weekly but this week it is the Cat in the Hat Underwater Adventure and The Little Mermaid
Song-Taylor Swift Love Story
Color- still pink and purple
Book - Again changes weekly but right now it is The Flopsy Bunnies by Beatrix Potter
Activity- Going to the park to play, riding her scooter, doing puzzles, craft projects with glue and stickers and of course, looking for bugs.
Favorite friend - one of my students, Liz.  They are both naturalists with the same name.  Elizabeth talks about her all the time.  It's pretty cute.  And I think also her brother.  They are best buddies and are so much fun to watch together.  We were coming home from the mountains after a day of fishing a few weeks ago and the two of them were laughing about who knows what in the back sat of the car for an hour.  It was the most precious and wonderful dialogue.  I wish that I could have taped the two of them going on about all kinds of silliness.  The two of them love to be silly together.

Elizabeth's birthday was a blast.  She and her friends (and the adults too) had a great time.  The kids played pin the tale on the donkey, had a sea shell treasure hunt, and played with the giant parachute.  We used to play with a parachute at school when I was growing up so I thought that I'd look into getting one for the kids.  And low and behold, they are not that expensive and tons of fun.  The big and little kids had a blast with it!  It was great as mom and dad were able to come out for her party as well.

 And the gift of the year - 2000 lady bugs.  Liz found them at a garden store for Elizabeth and they were a huge hit.  And it turns out that they will say alive for weeks if you put them in the refrigerator every night.  Elizabeth would let a few go everywhere we went for about two weeks.  At the end, there were only a few that died in her bug box.  I was proud of her for letting them go.  I think that she understands well that it's best to let the bugs go back to their natural habitat (although she does a lot of bug relocations.  I call it country bug/ city bug as she'll find a grasshopper or stonefly in the mountains and then release them at home. Poor bugs).

 Father's day with dad.

 For father's day, we went to brunch at a jazz club in Denver, Dazzle.  Not only was the food wonderful but the music was great too. The kids had so much fun dancing with the jazz trio!  The kids were the hit of the place!