This past weekend I took my family camping and fishing at a fun little creek beneath lofty peaks. Before this trip, I happened to have a four-weight G. Loomis that I don’t use very often. On the drive over, I told my nine year old, Jenness, “Nessy, if you can catch a trout all by yourself on this flyrod, you can have it.” Nessy eagerly accepted the challenge.
We camped not far from one of Idaho’s peaks over 12,000 feet, named “Diamond,” due to its triangular shape.
On Monday morning, Nessy and I spent some one-on-one time on the creek. We were fishing the G. Loomis with a home-tied Dave Whitlock’s Red Fox Squirrel Nymph with a strike indicator. At first, I tried to show Nessy how to cast. She picked that up quickly and could cast well enough to make a decent presentation. It was hard for me to just stand back and let her learn on her own. I tried to be generous with praise and sparing with words of criticism and instruction. Believe me, I prayed that a naive trout would cooperate!
Soon enough, Nessy picked up the line to re-cast and, to both of our surprises, Nessy had on a trout. . . her first fish on a fly rod! She squealed with excitement as she felt the small fish tug against the rod. Call me a sap, but I almost cried! For so long, I have wanted my kids to understand and experience the joys of fly-fishing and it finally happened for Jenness. “Congratulations Nessy, you just got yourself a new fly rod.!” I exclaimed. Nessy beamed with pride at her newfound skills and rod. She repeated this feat two more times in my presence.
The absolute coolest thing that day occurred after the family finished up with lunch. Nessy eagerly asked me: “Dad, do you mind if I take my rod and go and try to catch another fish?” “Not one bit,” I responded. She took off for the creek with her rod in hand and her cousin Blake beside her. I was interested to see how she would do without me looking over her shoulder. Within five minutes, Nessy yelled excitedly: “Dad! Dad! Come quick! I caught another one all by myself!” I sprinted down to the creek with camera in hand anxious to see her trout and to capture the moment. The elation in her eyes and her wide smile were unforgettable. It reminded me of why I love fly-fishing and the outdoors so much. I hope you all enjoy the pictures and that they catch-in some small degree-the excitement of a child and her first trout on the fly. In a word, Priceless!