A First Fish on Fly.
As word slowly spread of my interest in the sport, a family friend gave a helping hand. At a swim meet, I received a stack of "how to" books and magazines from Fly Fishermen to old Orvis catalogs. I immediately became a kid at a candy store and devoured the material. A small time hobby slowly evolved into a small obsession that featured a seemingly endless amount of knowledge, flies, and fish. I fell into the deep end and never looked back.
When news came that a coworker had purchased his young son, PJ, a fly rod kit for Christmas, I immediately thought about the impact a few magazines and books had on my development as a fly fisherman. I arrived the next day at work with a box full of magazines and some of the very same books I received 14 years earlier. Later on, I brought in a Redington form practice rod, after I heard of casting sessions gone awry. As winter progressed, I received a thank you letter and a small box with a DIY homemade fly. The kid was hooked to say the least.
When spring arrived, I promised I'd stop by and help out with casting and fishing. I brought several rods and let the kid try them all out in the yard. The highlight came when we were discussing the various ways of setting the hook. PJ interrupted and informed me that, "a strip set is mainly used when fishing for tarpon because they have a really bony mouth". As the smirk left my face, I realized that one day, he'd probably catch a tarpon on fly. However, he'll have to work his way to that point in time. Later, we transitioned to the local pond that featured largemouth bass and crappie. With the water really low, the fish were a little skittish but after putting in some time he caught two crappie, his first fish on fly.
As we left the pond, I reminisced about my first fish on a fly rod and how hard it was as a young teen teaching myself how to fly fish. Passing on knowledge and gear, I can only hope that PJ's learning curve is shortened and that he finds a lifetime of enjoyment from the sport of fly fishing.