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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

We Goin' Fichin' Daddy? The Story of Skylars First Ever Bluegill

Skylars second ever time fishing.
Skylars second ever fish.
Skylars second ever fish species.
Stone Cold Steve Austin's Day.

Early in the day it was decided that the weather, work, and the stars aligned for some bluegill fishing. Sure it was March 16, 2016 but El Nino and Global Warming were tag team partners in the greatest cage match of all time so it was 63 degrees in Pennsylvania, the new "norm". Usually one warm day doesn't equal bluegill activity, but it hasn't been cold all winter so the fish were vehemently swimming back in fourth like it was mid april.

Skylar bounced up and down on the couch all day. We goin' fichin' daddy? ...."Yes, Skylar as soon as mommy wakes up". I tried to delay the onslaught of excitement by watching 10 episodes of Pokemon XY....however she could no longer be contained. I tried to stall getting her ready, then I tried to stall getting myself ready, then I tried to stall taking the dogs out and it was only 11:30am. Kori would of worked a 12 hour shift and got a measly 2 1/2 hours sleep. We tried to wake her anyway, but told her she could have the day off.

Skylar begged to hold a bobber as we drove to our fishing hole, I turned around to see this as we arrived at the local sports shop.

 I took Skylar to the Whites Crossing Sports shop and she held my hand as we crossed the street to buy worms. It was as if I was entering a time warp as this scene must of played out between my dad and I countless numbers of times. In true Russo fashion she bounced around the store pointing towards the reels, asking for quarters for candy, then finding the big candy. She did her father proud, repeating my footsteps in every way shape in form. Once we got the box of worms she refused to let go of them "I wanna holdy" arguing with that.....

We arrived at Virginia Jurkowski's pond, an oft ignored pond that borders my grandmothers yard that I practically grew up on, stocked, and have memorized down to where what fish species lives, I even have some of them named.

We waddled down the hill while Skylar looked past and pointed at the barking dogs the neighbors could not or would not seem to control. Look daddy puppys!!! Skylar refused to let me carry the bucket the entire way down the hill, if she had it her way she would of carried the bucket, the pole, and the worms.

Once we got to the pond she moved onto "duckys!!!" She yelled and chased a a pair of Mallards as they swam about. Then the lid came off the nightcrawlers and it was game over. She reached in and held up worms examining them before saying "here daddy". Is this real life? Is she two years old? Did she just hand me the bait?

I casted at the first fish I saw and connected. I instantly handed her the pole and after about two minutes she brought her first ever bluegill to shore. She was quick to want to examine her prize, to pet it, to be photographed with it. She was enamored. I couldn't really figure out if this was some cruel dream, if I entered some weird plane of existence or if this was really my life. My freaking TWO YEAR OLD was not only cooperative, helpful, she was enthralled, and captivated by the whole undertaking. Likewise nothing penetrated my zen-like peace, not the literally falling apart baby pole, the bobbers lost....nothing.

I moved on casting feverishly like a strung out mad man making sure she didn't get to close to water, while making sure she didn't dump the worms, while making sure she didn't dump out all of my terminal tackle. When it hit me, it didn't really matter....she was loving it and that was the whole point. Fuck everything. The fish, the terminal tackle, the worms, she was eating it all up. I lost a record 3 bobbers in an effort to keep eyes on her and the fish saw us through crystal clear water, so the jig was up. She made a few more attempts at fish. Then asked if she could play with the bluegill again.

We walked up the hill victorious. "No daddy I walk"......the entire way. As we drove home I turned around to ask if she had fun.....and she was conked out. As soon as the truck stopped she opened up her eyes and I asked if she had fun, a loud passionate "UHUH" was my response.....what a perfect day....and I have work in 3 hours.

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