Fishing the Hidden Lakes Assembly Line

It struck me, as I sat down on a log, that I had not stopped moving for the last 45 minutes.

I was finally seated at Hidden Lakes, sipping a cold Tim Hortons coffee, watching the boys watch their lines and bobbers. I had broken a sweat, tending to what seemed like a factory assembly line.

While fishing is always rewarding, fishing with kids is not always relaxing. It felt like I was chief engineer, quality-control, maintenance supervisor and safety officer, all rolled into one.

Further, I was halfway through my shift and felt entitled to a quick break. With three kids, aged seven, seven and five, I was constantly running down the line from one to the other, untangling line, re-setting bobbers and assisting with casting.

Each boy had a separate rod and line out with a different presentation. The first was a simple weight on the bottom with power bait suspended. The second was a bobber with a split shot and a power bait below the surface. The third was a bobber with a small fly and a slight retrieve.

Conditions were perfect with a slight drizzle, cool temperatures and with fish rising all around.

In my experience, the seven year olds want to cast, themselves, and can make about 50 per cent of their casts into the water far enough from shore. This means the remainder of casts fall short, backwards or tangle into submerged trees.

The five-year-old is not quite there yet, but wants to desperately keep up with his older brother. What this all comes down to is complete mayhem.

With three lines, in varying states of disrepair, there is no need to add a fourth (mine).

Fishing with three kids from shore means Dad does not get to fish directly. I tend to let them get their fill of casting out, right away, and then take each one individually to select a nice branch to cut for a fishing-rod stand.

Once the three stands are in place, with hands off the rod, the kids get used to watching their bobbers for the slightest movement.

This usually provides enough breathing room for me to start a fire and get them thinking about hot dogs and marshmallows.

Once under control, I indirectly fish by adjusting each rod’s presentation to ensure they are all sitting well in the water. Now we have three well-positioned lines in the water, with three well-fed boys on the side.

Usually, about an hour and half into the event (if there are no fish), the boys tend to explore the surrounding bushes looking for interesting rocks and bugs. If we are fortunate to catch a fish, the energy comes right back and you can guarantee another shift on the assembly line.

If you would like to share your fishing story or hear more about this one, visit Dennis Zimmermann’s Yukon fishing blog at

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