My parents had eight kids and now all of my siblings are married with kids of their own. So, to sum it up, the Wayment family is simply huge (pronounced like the POTUS). We all love each other, get along, and treasure the rare times when we can be together. Last July, we rented a cabin in Garden City, Utah for a much-needed family reunion. I believe the last time all of us were together was when our beloved dad passed away in 2014.
When the Wayment Family gets together, you can pretty much bet on three things: (1) Some of us are going hunting or fishing; (2) Mexican Food will be eaten (or some other good food like Cajun or BBQ); and (3) gourmet root beers will be consumed (we’re Mormons so we don’t drink alcohol). Last year’s reunion was no exception to this rule.
Most of the family arrived at the cabin on Thursday, July 7th and we just sat around and enjoyed each other’s company. Brother Shawn had brought a whole cooler of gourmet root beers and, of course, we sampled a few.
The following day we had to spend the obligatory time on the sandy beaches of the Idaho side of Bear Lake, the “Caribbean of the Rockies.” Honestly, I can take or leave that, but my kids enjoy it. I talked my wife into sneaking away to go get one of those famous raspberry milkshakes Bear Lake is known for, so the day wasn’t a total loss.
After dinner, things improved tremendously as my daughter, Nessy, and brother Scott agreed to go fishing with me on St. Charles Creek in Idaho. My nephews, Jared, Easton, and Steele also tagged along for the adventure. Nessy and I shared a Tenkara USA Rhodo rod and Scott and Jared used their western fly rods and reels. The creek was overgrown in most places making it difficult to cast and to wade, but we caught a few small trout. In a seam where two currents conjoined below an island, a beautiful brook trout rolled on my Renegade and I quickly brought him to hand. Nessy got a little frustrated with the thickness of the foliage and the technicality of the creek, but gave it a good effort. Our problem was that we had a hard time finding water open enough for her to cast.
As darkness descended upon us, we came upon a high beaver dam. In the failing light, we could see the wink of rising trout in the calm water above the dam. My tenkara rod did not have the length to reach these fish, so I borrowed my nephew, Jared’s rod and reel. I caught a few fish on Renegades, including a nice Bonneville Cutthroat. Though the fishing was a little tough, everyone had fun. We capped off the night with a raspberry milkshake in Garden City. That made two in one day for me. Can life get any better? I submit that it cannot!
Saturday, the bulk of the Wayment clan hiked up to a popular high mountain lake. I’d tell you the name, but the lake is already so overcrowded as it is. Have you ever seen that video meme on Facebook in which a dude swings on a rope swing out into this pristine lake and gets munched by a monstrous fish? I believe that video was taken at this particular lake. Too bad there aren’t any monster fish in the lake like the one in the meme.
Once at the lake, I used my 2-weight St. Croix Ultra Legend rod and reel , Tommy, the Rhodo, and Nessy, the Badger Tenkara Medium Flex Classic. I caught a bunch of fish on Pistol Petes. Both Tom and Ness caught fish on nymphs. The water was so clear that we sight-casted to cruising fish both in the lake proper and its outlet.
After catching one particular rainbow, Nessy shed a few tears as she worried that it would not make it.
With a smile on my face, I said to her, “There’s no crying in fishing!” as I helped her unhook and release the fish back into the lake. And, if you are wondering, it swam off and we did not see it go belly up. So that was a relief.
I really enjoy fishing high mountain lakes. This may be sacrilege for a tenkara blog, but tenkara is not the best tactic for lake fishing because you can’t cast as far or strip the flies in like you can in western streamer fishing. However, it is a great method for kids because the rods are easy to cast and kids learn quickly that you simply have to move the rod tip to move the fly. I was glad to see my kids catch a few on tenkara by themselves.
To sum up, the Wayment Bear Lake Family Reunion was a good time. It was fun to be together with my favorite people on earth in such a beautiful place. I drank a total of four raspberry milkshakes (the family record, I think) and who knows how many root beers? Shawn and I got to shoot our bows a few evenings. And, to top it off, we caught a few trout. I’d call that a successful trip if ever there was one.