I look back on my fishing life, and I can play certain moments in my mind like black-and-white highlight reels.
That first snout of a brown trout sipping a grasshopper fly I cast in the right spot along the riverbank. That first tarpon jump, that made my knees knock as the silver king splashed down on the flat like a piano had been dropped from the sky. That steelhead tug on a swung fly, after what might have been 500 casts…
But I have to admit that all of it pales in comparison to one simple phenomenon. When you are out on the water with a young person, and you watch their face light up when that rod in their hands goes bent… sheesh. I’d trade every trout or tarpon I’ve ever caught for just one more look like that, in a New York minute.
There is nothing that fuels the angler’s conscience better than lighting the pilot in a young person. That’s really top of the game. And you don’t have to go all over the world to find this rush; it can happen on the bluegill pond right by home.
All of which is to suggest, if you’re looking for something to do… if you want to find that great adventure… if you want to make fly fishing more exciting and relevant in your life… you don’t need to spend money… and you don’t need to get on a plane and go somewhere exotic.
You only need to take a young person fishing.
You can do that this week…