Go Army Families!! From L to R Front Row: Will M., Noah M., Reece M., and Austin B. From L to R Back Row: Stephanie M., Chloe B., and Jen B.
The S.K.I.F.F. (Soldiers’ Kids Involved in Fishing Fun) Program exists to take the children of deployed or deceased soldiers on fishing trips at no charge to the soldiers’ families as a way of showing our support for our troops and providing a respite for their spouses. The following is a note to SKIFF supporters about this most recent outing…
Monday, 18 Feb. 2013
Dear Friends of SKIFF,
This morning I fished on Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir with three boys from two families, all off from school for the Presidents’ Day holiday. Will and Reece Moore are the sons of U.S. Army Captain Ramey and Stephanie Moore, and Austin Bayless is the son of U.S. Army Captain Wyatt and Jennifer Bayless. CPT Moore is on his 3rd deployment and is currently with the 4th Brigade of 1/9 Cavalry in Afghanistan. CPT Bayless, also a combat veteran with several deployments under his belt, is on an extended Observer/Controller assignment in the Mojave Desert.
I was betwixt and between on running the trip due to the forecast for high winds, but knew there would be 3 very disappointed youngsters with not much else planned for the day and no corresponding break for their moms, so, with marginal fishing conditions but wind speeds still low enough to allow for a safe trip, we bucked the wind for 4 hours and came up with a respectable catch.
The boys’ time on the water was like a mini reunion, as they’d not seen one another since a friend they had in common moved on to Fort Bliss some time ago. So, despite the tough fishing, the boys enjoyed the catching up, kid jokes, an extended explanation of the difference between knots and lashes, and, of course, snacks (all of which were consumed within 35 minutes of launching).
We boated a total of 19 fish today, including 16 white bass taken in the vicinity of Area 1167 and Area 566 using white, 3/4 oz. slabs fished using an easing technique. Our last 3 fish, all nice 13.5″+ specimens, fell to trolled crankbaits used between Areas 105/352 once the winds got so high that boat control sufficient to use a vertical presentation was no longer possible.
As we approached the dock at trip’s end, it was like sailors returning to a home port homecoming. Moms and younger siblings were waving and the boys on the boat with me were waving back. I invited everyone on board to take photos — which is normally no big deal, however, with the lake low due to drought, the courtesy dock resembles a broad playground slide canted at a 45 degree angle. So, the moms and siblings had some “fun” sliding down to the end and just about tumbling into the boat!
CPT Moore and CPT Bayless, thank you men for serving.
Friends of SKIFF, thank you all for making a day like this for the captains’ sons possible!
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Start Time: 7:15a
End Time: 11:15a
Air Temp: 68F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: 56.2F
Wind: Winds were high from the S at 16-18 at trip’s start, ramping up to SW20-22 with higher gusts by trip’s end.
Skies: Skies were murky until around 10am, then cleared to 20% partly cloudy.