ODFW Lunker Rainbow Trout

I should search this site and look to see how many times I’ve said something to the effect that I have no idea where the time has gone. I’d venture to guess that it’s probably in the neighborhood of 1 out of every 7 articles. Seems like the story of my life since becoming a father nearly ten years ago. And here we are, February of 2018 and I have no idea where the time has gone. I’ve been meaning to write about something cool the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife had done for nearly 6 weeks now but… I don’t know where the time goes.

In December, ODFW implemented a “lunker stock” program to encourage youth fishing over the Christmas holiday break. There are several regularly spring stocked ponds in the state of Oregon and the objective was to do a one time December stock of some gigantic trout right in the middle of the off-season while kids were on school break. The hope was that kids would get outdoors and chase some fish with family and friends. It wasn’t marketed heavily and I was fortunate to catch wind of it via Bill Monroe’s Oregonian Outdoor Blog.

Anyone who knows me (or this site) knows that Canby Pond is my family’s go-to kid trout fishing pond in the metro area. As pleased I was to hear about ODFW’s lunker program, I was equally pleased to hear Canby was on the list to get 50 trophy trout during a mid-week stocking. My work affords me some flexibility so it’s a blessing to fish with kids mid-week when most other dads are working if at all possible. A dad date with all 3 kids was set for the day following the scheduled planting.

What transpired was a quick, to the point, fishing trip. It was mid-December and 27 degrees at daylight. All the hand warmers in the world won’t keep elementary aged kids near water in those conditions for long. In a way, it was a winter steelhead fishing primer for my kid. They had trouble casting their 6lb main line through the iced up eyelets of their fishing rods. Every other cast it was necessary to blow warm air on the eyelets to melt off the ice that formed during retrieval. We ended up 2 for 3 in 45 minutes of fishing with two 5+ pound trout for pellet grill and cold smoker. So proud of my 3 kids that think nothing of rough conditions and simply prefer to be outdoors than warm and cozy indoors.