Family vacations and fishing are a tricky mix.
Time pressures are complicated, but it's very different than the usual work grind with days loaded with commitments and little time to accomplish things between. On vacation, the agenda is as intense-- or not-- as you decide. However, there's a general expectation on the family vacation that, as parent, you be present. That does complicate fishing.
On the other hand, these escapes from our normal lives can bring us to wonderful places. This is never more true than for a fisherman in New England on an island surrounded by the sea, promise of bountiful bait, and of course fish to catch.
The solution is time management. Which is really to say, in order to get an extended time away for the family fishing, you either fish early or fish late. You become a vaguely nocturnal creature, seen in the day as a wane wraith, a shadow of yourself made grim with circled eyes and stubbled chin. You manage to stay cheerful and smile because you must. Family is the priority. Sleep deprivation is just the cost of fitting in one more objective.
That's how I found myself this morning at 5:15 standing by my car, hot coffee in hand, prepped for a morning of chasing albies and stripers around in my kayak. The rods were strung with bay anchovy flies pre-selected. The kayak was on the roof, ready for the quick ride to my launch point. A light west breeze gave the air a crisp bite that would burn off as the sun chased the chill away. In my hands I held all the promise and excitement of a great morning's fishing.
Unfortunately what I didn't hold were my keys.
I enjoyed the sound of the surf and the increasing streak of pre-dawn glow for a while. The last sip of coffee was now cold. I screwed up my courage and decided to face the wrath of my wife. I texted. I called. I knocked.
And that's how I found myself this morning, throwing pebbles at the bedroom window.
There's going to be some groveling.