Making opening day a fun trip

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Dennis Clay

Anglers from all over Washington State are looking forward to the Saturday general fishing opener. The opening day of fishing in the Columbia Basin is always dependent upon the weather for turnout and success rate.

Windy and colder weather means fewer anglers will be wetting a line. Warm and sunny weather will mean lots of fishermen with, usually, lots of fish on stringers.

Clothing

There are a few steps the adults can take to make a day in the outdoors more comfortable for youngsters, especially, but adults as well. The first is clothing. Take more than enough, so different weight jackets can be put on or taken off. The same goes with T-shirts, sweat-shirts, hats, pants, shorts, gloves, you get the idea.

The weather forecasts are not perfect. What a parent doesn’t want to hear is, “Daddy, I’m cold,” with no more articles of clothing available to add to the current clothing.

A cold miserable youngster will want to go home, when just a small piece of clothing would supply the warmth to make the youth want to stay longer.

Food

A second step is to bring plenty of food. My mom would take food in a variety of ways. She might make sandwiches at home or She might prepare some of the food the night before, such as slicing cheese and onions. Sometimes she would take all the ingredients and prepare sandwiches on the picnic table at the fishing site.

Mom and Dad would take coffee in one thermos and hot chocolate in another. Water was available, too, in water jugs of five-, one- or half-gallon sizes.

Can’t remember what conditions would warrant the different types of food, but sometimes we would take a Coleman camp stove and Dad would heat up premade soup.

Beginning anglers

Families with beginning anglers need to remember the angler, either youth or adult, might not know a thing about angling. It is best for the teacher to not fish when providing the education.

Just stick with the new angler and they will soon be in need of help untangling lines and hopefully netting fish.

Remember the attention span of a youth when the fish are not biting will be short. Take a break from time to time, let them run around, play catch and tag, but take the fishing rod out of the water.

The idea is to have a good time, so the entire family and friends will want to return to another day of outdoor adventure.

Remember to have fun, but be careful out there.

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