Gone Fishing

Posted on in by Liz Lyles

boca (2)Some people might find it to be strange that a professional triathlete is writing a blog about fishing.  Sometimes a break from the norm is refreshing.  Fishing is one of my favorite past times in the summertime when I’m taking a break from training and racing (small windows of opportunity, but I’ve got to make them count).  There is something about fishing that seems to regenerate the soul.  My husband, Chip and I have been fishing together for years.  Living at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, we have incredible opportunities to take advantage of, and there are so many beautiful places to see.

Our kids are now old enough to go fishing with us, and everybody in the family pretty much has caught the “bug” this summer to go fishing.  There are several reasons why I love fishing, here are a few:

1 – It’s often about the journey, not the destination.  One of my favorite places to fish is a secret fishing hole in Nevada between Lake Tahoe and Carson City.  There are a couple ways to get there.  One requires an ATV or a jeep, which we do not have at this time, so going that way is not an option.  The other is a 5 mile, pretty much straight up hill jog/hike, or mountain bike ride.   boca (1)Hard work.  From the few people I know who have tried it, it often gets compared to some of the most difficult road biking climbs to the tops of mountain passes, in our region.  Some sections of the ride are so steep and technical, that you will either wheelie out, or spin out…so to make it safely, these sections are almost always walked.  After a few turns and a brief flat section, you find yourself at the end of a trail, peeking through the trees at one of the most spectacular, glassy water, high mountain lakes the Sierra Nevada has to offer.  What’s a bonus about this hidden treasure is that it is loaded with a rare species of fish called tiger trout.  Kind of a bucket list fishing adventure, and the whole ride home is DOWN HILL!

 2 – Fishing is quality time with the family.  The above mentioned adventure is a little beyond what our kids are ready for, but when we set out so some of the local lakes with better access, the kids get very excited.  These days Chip and I primarily let the kids reel in every fish.  davisWe will sometimes set the hook the fish for them, but it is pretty rare for us to reel any of the fish we catch all the way into shore.  Watching the excitement on the kids’ faces when they catch a fish is absolutely priceless.  And releasing the fish is almost every bit as exciting.  We primarily catch and release…let the fish “live to fight another day” as they say.  The kids have eaten fish we catch, but find it more rewarding to let them go.  (although Emma is wanting to keep a baby trout as a pet at home, and we are trying to explain they need to be in their natural habitat to enjoy a happy life).

3 – Fishing is relaxing.  As I mentioned earlier, we pretty much let the kids reel all the fish in these days, but even when the fishing is slow, there is an endless amount of entertainment for the kids when sitting on the shore of a lake.  SpoonerThey catch bugs, collect rocks (sounds silly, but for some reason they love it), catch crawdads at some lakes, which can keep them entertained for hours, make up games, or do whatever….they always stay occupied though, which provides a rare opportunity for Chip and I to soak up the sun, soak in the views, and relax in the warm summer air.

If you have not had a chance to dust off the fishing equipment this summer, give it a consideration.  Even if you don’t have fishing gear, rod-reel combos come as cheap as $20 bucks, throw in some tackle, bait or lures, and a license, and you can have a fairly inexpensive and relaxing past time this summer too!  Be sure so pick up a copy of your local/state regulations.


Liz Lyles

Liz Lyles is a mother, a wife, and a professional Ironman Triathlete.

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