I can honestly say we don't visit Kelly's grandparents as often as we probably should, even though we live in the same metropolitan area. I know it will sound like an excuse, but by the time we get home from work and school the old folks are already preparing for bed. Our weekends are often so busy that we don't have a lot of free time there either, and what little we do is often spent fishing. We are planning to go and do the annual fall gutter clean out very soon (to ensure Kelly's grandfather doesn't try to get on the roof and do it by himself). It seems like we might also be installing more guttering while we're there, so next year's gutter cleaning will be that much more fun.
As visits with our senior family members often go, we ended up sitting around the kitchen table and listening to Kelly's grandparents tell us what they've been up to lately as well as recount stories from their youth and the second World War. Having lost the last of my grandparents in 2007, it's one of those things that I miss... but never knew that I would. I'm glad that I can now enjoy Kelly sharing her grandparents with me.
Among the many stories we heard about gardening and days gone by was an unexpected fishing tale. This was a surprise because Kelly's maternal grandfather isn't really an outdoorsman. The story went something like this...
Kelly's Grandfather, Lucius or "Lutz" as he is called by his family, went fishing once with his father-in-law (Kelly's great grandfather) in south Louisiana. There were apparently some secret ponds that had a bunch of "green trout" (which Kelly and I interpreted to be Largemouth Bass) in them. The two men went fishing on one of the ponds in a skiff, and Kelly's great grandfather handed Lutz a fly rod. He said "I don't know how to use a fly rod," but his father-in-law told him he would figure it out. He began trying to cast as they crossed the pond and approached a stand of lily pads. Kelly's grandfather told us he couldn't have done it again if he tried, but once the boat stopped his first cast landed perfectly among the lily pads.
Instantly a big bass erupted from the water and swallowed the fly. Lutz had no experience setting the hook or playing a fish with a fly rod, but somehow he managed to reel in the fish. He demonstrated for us with his hands the size of the fish which appeared to be about fifteen or sixteen inches. After the fish was landed, Kelly's great grandfather began to turn the skiff around, leaving the lily pads, and headed back for where they put in. A confused Lutz asked what he was doing, and he simply said "you caught my fish, we're going home." Lutz suspected there were more fish lurking under the lily pads, but he wouldn't find out that day. The frustrated father-in-law wasn't going to give his son-in-law any further opportunity to show him up.
Although I can certainly take credit for being the first person to put a fly rod in Kelly's adult hands (her dad let her play with a fly rod as a child), her DNA is no stranger to the long rod. We already knew Kelly's dad had spent a lot of time chasing bass with a fly rod in his younger days, but this is the first either of us had heard of any fly fishers on the maternal side of her family.
|Kelly's genes reconnect with a fly rod.|
Somehow, I'm not at all surprised.