The Coho came into the Crystal River recently. Colebrook and Hawthorn have been driving by the fishermen on their way to school each day, which really put them in a fishing frenzy this past weekend. On Friday night, we shopped in TC for spawn bags, hooks, and heavy duty line, and when the boys woke up Saturday morning they had one goal-- catch a big Coho, King or Chinook Salmon. [gallery columns="2" size="medium" ids="5874,5875"] As you can see from the photo’s, both boys had success. These were the biggest fish either of them have ever caught. CB wanted to mount his, but I suggested we eat it instead. That became a big ordeal -- cleaning the fish (and cleaning the area we trashed while cleaning), disposing of the carcass, and then finally cooking the fish into some pretty tasty tacos. Yikes. I was exhausted after this day and the night before. Playing coach and providing support for a young team of fishermen is lots of work. But, as you can see from the photos it was well worth the effort. While Colebrook caught the first fish and the bigger one, Hawthorn had the better fishing story: I was with Colebrook near the bridge at the Homestead, when there was a bunch of commotion about 200 feet upriver. In the middle of all the excitement was my littlest boy. Hawthorn’s pole was bent like a question mark and a crowd of people were surrounding him. By the time I got to him, several adults were struggling with that urge to help him bring in this big king salmon, versus the urge to let him figure it out himself. One lady couldn’t help but grab H’s pole and lift his tip up. I just proudly stood near him and offered suggestions. After 10 minutes of fighting, my nine year old was so tired he handed his pole to his buddy Michael Joseph. Then, with his arms rested and a new resolve, Hawthorn grabbed the pole back and within 5 minutes the fish was laying on the deck at the side of the river. I took my time taking photos and letting everyone look at it. I certainly thought he would want to clean and eat his fish as well -- but he wanted to put the fish back, which totally surprised me. Many onlookers thought it might be too late, but we put him in the water anyways. It laid on the bottom of the river for 5 minutes with his gills barely moving. Then his mouth moved. Then his fins, and soon he was swimming away. Everyone cheered to see this fine fish come back to life-- we were even happier than when he was caught.