Fishing with Riley or Fun fishing with a five-year-old

Five-year-old Riley with one of the white perch she caught. She let her dad reel in one, so she wouldn’t have to put down the “awesome” nightcrawler she’d just found.

CHENEY RESERVOIR – At 7:30 a.m. on Saturday mornings most kids aren’t even up, and if they are they’re watching cartoons. Not five-year-old Riley Everitt, she was watching a fish finder, occasionally yelling, “Daddy, daddy, there’s a fish on the bottom, a big one.” Sure enough, when I looked over there would be the inverted V that was the sign of a large fish on the bottom.

Most little kids, when they turn and see a three-inch-long bug near their face, one with raised wings and long pointy things coming from it’s behind, might scream or at least move away. Riley stared, pointed at it, asked what it was and if it could hurt anybody…then calmly reach over and picked the adult mayfly up by its wings and asked four or five more questions about the insect. She was good enough to trust me with the mayfly, while she went and caught another one, and another one, and…

Riley and her dad, Kacci Everitt, check the fish finder for wipers.

To say fishing was slow was to say that Riley had perfect hair, which she knew, but she managed to stay entertained. A box of nightcrawlers was as good as a box of toys as she dug a finger with the remnants of pink fingernail polish in the bedding until she found the ‘crawler of her dreams. In fact, the worm was sooooo impressive that when a white perch grabbed the bait on her line she refused to reel it in because she didn’t want put put down her ” So awesome, Daddy” nightcrawler.

She did gladly use him for bait the next time the hook was empty…who said five-year-olds are good at commitments?

Riley never met a mayfly she didn’t like, and want to hold, but she did share her insects well.

And though the little blonde did have some tomboy actions, she did have the perfect hair and enough of the fashion gene to say, “Let me see,” faster than the shutter speed, when she heard a camera’s click. (Also, she never met a photo of herself she didn’t seem to like, either.)

This five-year-old, though, was good at patience. Well, she wasn’t really that patient with the fishing but she was patient with her father, Kacci, who was determined to catch a nice wiper. Several times that morning Riley told her dad she was ready to quit, and he’d tell her they’d fish one more spot and be done…and she wouldn’t argue. One more spot turned into three or four, and Kacci never caught the nice wipers he’d been on by the scores for much of the summer.

I certainly didn’t get bored, thanks to Riley.

The boat was stopped for about 3.82 seconds when Riley decided it was time for breakfast. She set the donut on the boat’s dash, and took bites in between catching fish and capturing mayflies and nightcrawlers.

So, we have someone who can get up very early to go fishing, can read a fish finder, isn’t scared of fish, or worms, or bugs, or getting cold, or waves and is happy to share anything she has from donuts and bait to good-bye hugs…and she caught the most fish and didn’t brag about it!

The fishing world needs a lot more Riley’s,…no matter what the age.