This morning I was joined for a “S.K.I.F.F.” fishing trip by siblings Jonily (age 10) and Ryan (age 7) Considine of Copperas Cove, TX.
Ryan (named after his dad’s favor ball player, Nolan Ryan) excelled at downrigging today.
Jonily, named partly after her dad, John, and partly after her mom, Marily, preferred working a slab vertically.
SKIFF (Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun) trips are provided free of charge to families whose children are separated from a parent due to that parent’s military service. These trips are funded by the Austin Fly Fishers and a network of supportive individuals from all over the U.S.!
Jonily and Ryan are the children of Major John Considine and his wife, Mrs. Marily Considine. Major Considine is an Army Engineer currently assigned to III Corps in Kabul, Afghanistan, for a 12 month deployment. Mrs. Considine was named the Fort Hood 2013 Military Spouse of the Year, is a cancer survivor, and now regularly speaks to audiences concerning that topic.
Both kids had limited previous fishing experience, so, we started with the basics (casting lessons at the end of the boat ramp) and built up from there.
We started off small and simple, angling for sunfish in a quiet cove, allowing each child to catch 3 fish unassisted after I gave them some “OJT”, and before heading out over open water in search of the larger, more elusive white bass.
Over the span of our trip the kids got to employ vertical jigging, downrigging, and a bit of horizontal casting with bladebaits in order to lure the white bass we were seeking.
In the end, we boated 7 sunfish and 45 white bass. Both kids were able to experience landing a “triple” where 3 white bass were caught at the same time on an umbrella rig outfitted with 3 lures on it.
When I asked the kids how they managed to stay in contact with their dad a half a world away, they really filled me in with great detail about how they make use of a free service called “Oovoo”, which is evidently an improvement on another program called “Facetime”, both of which let you talk and see the person you’re talking with at the same time. They mentioned how much they really like talking to their dad before his bedtime in Afghanistan!
Jonily is celebrating her 10th birthday this weekend, so, Grandpa (Marily’s dad) was traveling down from Garland, TX, for a visit. The kids couldn’t wait to see him and tell him about their fishy adventure today (and I believe Ryan was hoping old grandpa could soup up his computer a bit while he was down this way).
This was a great trip with 2 great youngsters. Thank you, Austin Fly Fishers for paving the way to experiences like this one for Ryan and Jonily.
TALLY = 52 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 4p
End Time: 8p
Air Temp: 93F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: 86.5F
Wind: Winds were SSE6-7.
Skies: 30% cloudy on a fair sky.
Holding the Line Guide Service