So this new years my mom and dad took my brother, his girlfriend and I to Puerto Vallarta Mexico. It was pretty sweet. I knew it’s fishy down there and I definitely wanted to bring a rod. I was going to bring my Salmon rod, a nice surf rod, but I wanted to bring a fly rod pretty badly, didn’t work out, but I’ll get a nice salty rod next time I’m in warmer waters. Plus my brother has a sweet 9 weight which he was bringing. Anyway I stopped by The Fly Shop in redding CA on my way home and picked up some large salt water flies aimed for roosties, but looked delicious and was sure of a few of them. I was pretty broke and felt bad I could only get 4, but these flies are pricey and I knew they would be useful in Mexico and no matter how many, the thought would matter. So I bought 4 beauts and headed home to put them under the tree for my brother. We left on the Saturday after Christmas and my Brother and I both had rods. My brother with his clean black Scott Rods tube case and me with my 5ft disassembled surf rod walking with it unprotected, using it as my staff. I am a fool sometimes when it comes to fishing (not the catching) and really need a case for that rod. Anyway I just want to say I always like traveling with my fishing rod at airports. It makes me feel like I have more of a purpose to travel, not just to go wherever I am going (which is most always for a reason unrelated to fishing), but to go somewhere to test the waters. Fish are everywhere, and as most fishermen have there local spots they fish and catch at most times in their lifetime, I think to travel and fish is a complete other beast, and to experience it and understand it is something all fishermen/women should do. Now this wasn’t suppose to be an essay but it looks like it might get that way for the next few paragraphs, so bare with me.
For a little background, I must admit, my parents spoiled me with travels in my youth, and even today! I thank and love them lots for that and I think they know it. I was able to travel to all parts of the world, in and outside of our country and they really showed me the beauty of it. From sweet trips to Tahoe CA to exotic adventures in Ecuador and more, they all were the best and taught me a lot about myself, and for the case of this blog post, fishing. I could really go on about how I like the trips I went on in my youth and with my family, but this is about fishing, so I will spare you. It all started with my grandpa, Jerry Griggs, a complete legend and outstanding person, may he rest in peace :). He was my only grandpa I knew, but I knew him all too well, and even at a young age I really connected with him. It could just be I was young, but we spent a lot of time together and he truly was the best! I was heartbroken to see Leukemia take his life, and will always be thinking of him.
Well Gramp was an excellent fisherman, could of been better than Bill Dance if yea ask me. And Gramp taught me how to fish right from the get go. He got me hooked at a young age. I think my earliest memory was at a place called Tinsley Island in the Sacramento delta near Stockton CA. The island is part of a yacht club based in the bay area and we had access because my family was members, but more importantly my aunt and uncle were members. They were from my dads side and they were pretty cool out at Tinsley. I loved to go out there and our family bought a ski boat off my Gramp who is my mom’s dad and we used to have that out there. The island was all about boating, and if you didn’t have yacht, or a boat big enough to sleep on, you really didn’t belong out there. Some people did rent boats to keep there and there were some small houses on the island available to rent. There were also two rooms inside a cool light house that we rented a lot.
We also stayed on our aunt and uncle’s boat which was very nice and very special. My uncle Jeffery was and is a very funny guy and he used crack us up. In fact that whole family was awesome, I remember Petey was just the nicest, and Taylor, Todd, and Holly were really cool and had all this awesome freedom on this island and were very cool when we played with them. There was always stuff to do there and as I kid it was awesome.
Anyways Gramp came out there one weekend and it was really fun. One of the first things we did when we got there was fish. I think. I was too young. But I do remember how we rigged a sand bag to be our weight and slide through just a section of line to allow the fish to take the bait. I don’t think I was sure what we were fishing for, but looking back I know what Gramp wanted. Sure enough his catfish rig worked like a charm and we had one hell of a catfish on. I remember the rod was really bent, and it was so exciting. Once I saw the catfish I was even more excited. The fish looked awesome and I couldn’t believe how easy it was for Gramp to dehook the fish and release it. The whole experience was awesome, and I think it was one of the first ones we had fishing. But my long-term memory is crap so I may repost saying differently. Gramp teaching me to fish, buying me fishing stuff every time I saw him, and for christmas, really got me hooked to a passion I can’t thank him more for getting me into. I love it and will fish till I die. Since that catfish at Tinsley I caught tons of easy blue gill and catfish as I continued to return to Tinsley as a youngster. Unfortunately I stopped going there as I hit 11 or so and haven’t been back in a while, but hopefully soon! Another memory with Gramp I must share was when I was young we went crabbing off the pier at Half Moon Bay. I am not sure if it was the first toss, but I hope and think it wasn’t, I tossed my Gramp’s crab net out to sea without tying down the net to the dock, losing the net completely. I will never forget how he was able to laugh if off. He broke out in a chuckle, he couldn’t get mad at me, I was his grandson, and he loved me, and he was the best. I may have frustrated him that day, but I will tell you what, I will never toss another anything without checking the retrieval rope at least twice now. Anyways he taught me to fish and he was the man!
So after he taught me a few things when I was young, I got out of the sport while in high school I am not sure why. Meanwhile my brother picked it up especially fly fishing, and got pretty good. It was really his thing when we were in jr. high and high school, and I was into RC stuff for a bit then took a break to be social. Anyways we went on some sweet trips when we were that age, and my brother was always the traveling fisherman. It was pretty cool, but I never admitted it haha. He would always find some epic fishing somewhere we went he was good. But a few times I out fished him. With hand lines, or junky tourist gear, I would out fish him, out of mostly luck, and it was great. One time in Kenya I caught this pretty nice catfish with a hand line rig, and I was stoked. But the native’s working for the travel company were more stoked, and fried that bad boy up pretty quick. They were so excited, and we never saw the fish since I handed it to them.. haha I didn’t mind, they were too happy, not sure if they even knew we wanted to try some. Oh well, that was not the only time I out fished him, those were the days..
Now I went to college in Oregon. Since being here I met a good friend Kiel Berg, and we fished a bunch. It’s a great state to fish, and I figure while I am here, I need to catch a salmon, and more. Kiel is a bass fishing fanatic, so we fished lots of bass. But later got into fly fishing, which ultimately was the best. Especially in Oregon. So I learned to bass fish, fly fish better, and fish for Salmon by way of drift fishing, fly fishing, and surf fishing. Thats what the Northwest is all about. Salmon and Steelhead fishing. And I completely understand why. They also wreck trout all summer long. Bend is the spot! So in college I caught up what my brother learned early and feel like we both see eye to eye on thing fishing wise, which is cool because sometimes that is hard.
So before this latest Mexico trip, it has been a while since we have all been on a vacation together, and I was excited. Especially because of a little fishing with my bro. But I was a bit dramatic and wasn’t able to get a salt water fly fishing reel in time, so I only had my surf rod, which was pretty nice, but not a fly rod. We went down and had a great time. I am a bit much for my family at this age, too much energy perhaps, I am not sure, but it had its moments haha! I would try to fish the morning, but ended up catching up on good sleep most mornings. My brother was down there with his fly setup, and hadn’t fished it yet, but it looked pretty deadly with some 25lb seagar and one of the flies I bought him rigged up. It sat there most the trip, until the last day where it was a deadly weapon. So the funny point that’s tough to admit as the author and victim in the story is that I was being difficult and using fishing as an excuse for me to be rude (since I had no fly reel) and my brother was patient and optimistic/lucky, but in the end my brother ended up with the better fish. I guess the universe is balanced like that. It’s nice that way, and only human to identify it.
Well stay tuned, I will post a detailed action and picture filled post on specifically all the fish we caught and such while down there. I actually started this post aimed at only telling about the fishing, but one thing lead to another, and I started writing a bunch of stuff. I think its worth writing down for my own record, and I think there is some funny irony in the relationship I have with fishing and my family.
Well Cheers to all!
more to come..