When I was a kid, we used to get sent to my grandparents house for a week or two in the summer holidays. They lived on a small stretch of water called The Ollen in the North of Germany. They had a clapped out jetty, which my grand-dad attempted to patch up every year, but often sank or swam away, as well as a trusty rowing boat.
Every summer, without fail, we tried to catch fish from the river, using home-made fishing rods. My granddad had one of those sheds that equate to Man-Cave-Narnia. It had everything from cardboard boxes, to fishing hooks, to old shoe polish and wine that had long gone off. I can't even remember whether we ever caught anything, but I don't think that was ever even the point. It was more about the snacks we took onto the boat, the way we built our fishing rod, how many earthworms we'd managed to catch, whether or not the neighbour's older grandson, Olaf, joined us in our efforts. It was about being in our own little world, away from the adults, exploring the "big seas".
Happily, my parents now also live near water also, so the kids have started the "catch a fish this summer" challenge. So far, they haven't caught anything either, but that's not for lack of trying.
What you need:
- A stick
- Some string
- A crumb (or, if you're really going for it, you could try using a fishhook)
Top tip: Let them build their own rod. Reign in the adult perfectionist that is screaming, "can i just tie that nylon string for you", they'll enjoy it all the more.
Top quote: "Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing it is not the fish they are after." Henry David Thoreau