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Dreaming with your eyes wide open

One of the greatest joys of being a parent is watching your kids experience things for the first time. Sure things like taking those first wobbly steps, or uttering the first word are the classics, but for me it is seeing them encounter a new experience, one they will likely remember for many years to come. Sharing that moment with them is the gold of being a dad for me.

I was fortunate enough to watch my younger daughter’s love of “tent” camping Come Alive this past weekend. We camp often as a family, but typically we are glamping with our nice trailer – so it is essentially like having a portable cabin with all the comforts of home. But at least a few times a year, I try and take the girls out “tent camping” where we hike or bike into the wilderness, and camp in the way that I fell in love with myself years ago.

So Friday we packed up our bags, and got the bikes ready, and headed out to one of my favorite places in the world – The Metolius River. The temperature on the dashboard in the truck informed us that it was 92° outside that afternoon… but with a river full of ice cold water, and a mostly down-hill ride ahead of us, Teagan and I were not deterred by the hot summer temps, and we set off down the road to find a little slice of paradise.

I was elated to find the spot I had in mind open. It is a magical spot where the river takes a break after a long series of rapids… the spring creek’s current takes a breather here, and it seems the native trout find that appealing as well. We setup our tent with a view of the water, and satiated our thirst with our water filter as well.

Prior to enjoying dinner, I also opted to cool off in the river and see if any of the locals were around and willing to say howdy. I handed the phone to Teagan to let her snap some photos. She definitely has a unique sense of framing a photo:

Shortly after this amazing shot was captured ( and customized ) I did indeed get to meet one of the resident trout. A few casts prior I saw a really nice fish rise for a fly, and I re-positioned and got a cast in the right spot. And Teags was there to capture some footy for the blog:

The fight was quite awesome on my new Thomas and Thomas Contact 3# which Jeff Perin at the Fly Fisher’s Place outfitted me with the prior week, and we did get to get a nice photo of the beautiful specimen as well.

Perdigon style flies are really productive for me on the Met – they get down fast, and the pretty much unlimited color combinations you can tie them in allow you to put out a number of different presentations. This was an olive green/gold ribbed body, with a red hot spot behind the 4mm gold “disco” bead from Hańak.

After that wonderful cool down – Teags and I enjoyed a delightful dinner of Subway and Cheetos, and followed it up with some most excellent chill time in the hammock.

The best catch of the weekend

And of course we finished off the night by watching a movie on my phone in the tent – I suppose we still have to do a little bit of glamping – even in the backcountry. When we woke up the next morning, and started to pack up for the ride out, Teagan said “I wish we could stay out here for another night dad.”. You and me both Teagan. I can’t wait for our next trip too <3

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