The Best 30 Minutes

Published Aug 20th 2013

HEY! nice fish Mister! When I turned to see where the small voice came from, I saw a youngster, half a century different in age and his Dad on the bank just slightly behind me.


We have all had them… bad days. You know the ones. Can't seem to get any traction in anything you do, the sun's out and you're trapped inside, easily distracted… That was me yesterday.

Wasn't really thinking about fishing as I was working late, but when I drove by the Cole WMA in Tolland, the stream was "calling" if you know what I mean...
So, on with the gear and into the river, to seemingly continue the day...
Third cast in the trees… oh, well.
After a quick re-rig I got into a rhythm and became "lost" in what I was doing. The fish were being picky and once again I changed flies, this time to a dark CDC&Elk #12, and BAM!

That's really NOT the story here, but for the record, it was a small rainbow, probably 12 inches or so, but it must have read the article "Interview with a trout" that was posted some time ago on GFF, as it jumped and danced like a pro…

That's when I heard him…
"HEY! nice fish Mister"
When I turned to see where the small voice came from, I saw a youngster, half a century different in age and his Dad on the bank just slightly behind me. The "young man" (I'll explain that later) was fishing behind me with his fly rod in hand and his excitement was almost overwhelming.
It was getting late, and time for me to go, so I worked myself out of the stream and onto the bank just below them and walking past, was engaged in a brief conversation about fishing and "stuff", exchanged the usual pleasantries and proceeded up the short hill to my truck. I had just stripped off the waders when I saw him running towards me… got to love the energy.

Anyway, what transpired next, and over about 30 minutes, was just amazing. His Dad had caught up to where we were, just about the same time that he started asking about my gear, what kind of rod, weight of line, leaders, tippet material and all in an almost endless barrage of raw curiosity. He told me about how he got his first setup last year as a gift and how much he loved fly-fishing and he was just bubbling with excitement as he spoke.

With a quick jerk of his thumb, pointed back at the river he asked, "so… what did you catch that nice rainbow on?" and the subject quickly turned to flies and tying them.
He pulled out his fly box and showed me flies that he had tied himself and we compared a few when he floored me… "What's you Go-To fly?" You could see how proud the Dad was, watching and listening to his sons interrogation of me, and I'll tell ya… I was engaged and having the time of my life with this young man.

I pulled out the fly that I used to catch the rainbow, saying that this was it. When ever it gets slow, it's the dark CDC&Elk every time.
That's when it happened... I pulled out another one that wasn't soaking wet and handed it to him…. "Here.. Try it the next time your out with your dad".
The next few seconds were priceless... He turned to look at his dad and with a quick nod of approval to the boy, he accepted and absolutely gushing with thanks, reached into his pack and pulled out his "Go-To" and gave it to me. What a moment! One that I will cherish for a LONG time.

This Dad had done a fantastic job of raising his son. Polite, articulate, proud of his accomplishments, and understated at the same time. Fly-fishing should be proud of this boy and how he is beginning his journey, truly a "Young Man"

I can only end this by being thankful that I could share the experience with you and remind us all that it's not about the fish... It's about young men and their Dads and the experience that took a dismal day and changed it to one of the very best in almost 65 years.


Fishing kid

User comments
From: Yalcin - Full name and email anonymized  Link
Submitted September 10th 2013

Thank you for sharing such an experience.
Very emotional. I'm also jealous beeing started flyfishing after 45 and had to discover all by myself.
Beside beeing good fly-fishermen, we need such personalities -dads and childs- in every corner of the life.
I wish them goodnes in their entire life.

From: Thomas Vanting · thomasvanting·at·  Link
Submitted August 21st 2013

Great story - thanks for sharing :)

From: Dennis - Full name and email anonymized  Link
Submitted August 20th 2013

Wonderfully touching story. I'm teaching my seven-year-old granddaughter to tie flies and fly fish, and the unbridled exuberance she displays is good tonic for someone who has worn deep ruts along the stream bank for more than half-a-century.

From: Paul Kalbrener · PHKalbrener·at·  Link
Submitted August 20th 2013

Nice, almost brought a tear to my eye, OK, there was a tear. Its funny I've caught lots of fish over the last 20 years of fly fishing, but I will always remember my very first trout like it was yesterday. Just thought about that trout again, as I was reading your story.

From: Cornelis · Corneel77·at·  Link
Submitted August 20th 2013

cool story !

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