Hooked For Life

Discussion in 'Fly Tying, Trout Fishing' started by spinner, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. spinner

    spinner Staff Member

    Alec with his first trout he ever caught. His Dad's smile tell the whole story.

    I met Joe Fotjik about 7 years ago. It was back when I guided. Joe had a wonderful time in Southwestern Wisconsin. He was so impressed with me he asked if he could bring his son the next time he booked me. Alec was 9 years old and had never small stream trout fished. I had Joe get his son some lessons before he came that next year and we set out to show Alec the wonders of trout fishing. The trip was set the next year in spring season.

    Alec showed up with all new gear and ready to go. He had not actually wet a line but was really excited about going trout fishing. It is very important to start a kid out correctly. They must actually catch a trout on their first outing or they will become dismayed and lose interest quickly. I knew this quite well from talking to many parents who took out their kids and the kids were disappointed in the outing and set down the rod and never returned. Catching a trout was number one on my list for this outing. I planned the trip where there were lots of brook trout. Brook trout are always easier to catch than browns.

    Alec was just like every 10 year old when they had never actually used a fly rod on stream and this was their first time. There were many trees caught on the back casts and many questions asked. There were a few wind knots and some frustration. At the end of the outing Alec was hooked on trout fishing for life. He caught 11 trout that morning and his proud father was gushing with pride.

    I guided for a couple more years and hung up guiding. During those couple years I took Alec and his Dad out a couple more times. Alec became quite a good caster and it was obvious he was a trout angler for life. Three years ago I decided to quit guiding. Every spring since then the phone rings and it is Joe Fojtik and he asks if I would mind a couple fishing partners. I always say the same thing. Joe I don't guide any longer but I fish 3-5 times a week and wouldn't mind seeing how Alec has progressed as an angler.

    It happened just like clock work this spring. The phone rang and it was Joe. We set it up to go last week. Joe and Alec arrived at nine am and off we went fishing. It was really rewarding for me to watch Alec cast. He had bloomed in to a full fledged "Trout Nut". Alec is 15 years old now. Alec's casts are pin point and his skills very refined. His fishing tails telling had really come a long way too. The banter between he and his Dad was not like it use to be. Alec was talking about all the outings he and his dad went on and how he out fished his dad and how his dad owed him "many" candy bars. Alec and Joe would always bet one candy bar on each thing. The bets were big trout of the day and most fish of the day. Alec told me that his Dad owed him lots of candy bars.

    We fished for 4 hours the other morning. Dad was counting his fish to hand and was giving Alec a hard time about being behind. The outing was not only about catching trout this time. The father and son talked about the environment and being a good steward of the stream. We talked about barbless versus barbed regulations. It was really obvious that Joe had taught his son how to be a "good" angler. At the end of the day Alec had won the candy bar bet times two. Alec out fished his Dad and caught big fish of the day. I have NEVER seen a more proud father.

    I see lots of candy bars in Alec's future. Alec is hooked for life on trout fishing.
  2. spinner

    spinner Staff Member