Hi all,
One of my neighbors has a 15 year old boy whose father wants nothing to do with the young fellow. Mom and dad are divorced, dad is a drunk, lives two blocks away from his son and won't even talk to the boy if they see each other on the street. Mom and I had a good talk the other day. The boy is really depressed, starting to fall behind in school, missing a lot of school and is starting to draw away from others. With his older brother being constantly deployed in the military he has no big brother or father figure in his life. Mom is wonderful and doing as good a job as she can but teenagers need a father figure too.

Well every time I see the lad he sticks to me like glue. My daughter is grown and has given us three beautiful grand kids so it really tugs at my heart string to see the lad going through what is happening to him. I have walked many miles in his shoes too. Mom, Nighthawk and I have cooked up a plan. I would like to hear your input on this.

The lad is a very active 15 years of age and we think he needs us guys to take him fly fishing, hunting and target shooting with us. We have the add advantage that he already knows and trusts us both. Was thinking about setting him up with a nice 9' 5/6wt 2pc medium-fast action graphite rod that I have along with a decent mid arbor reel, backing and line that Nighthawk has. Most of our fishing will be on lakes, big rivers and wide open streams so casting room wont' be too much of an issue. Of course we will both kick in leaders, tippet material, flies, boxes and the various gadgets required by our sport. Want to get the boy started in tying too. Between the two of use we have the extra tools and materials to get him well on his way tying wise.

The lad is a late bloomer. Just now really starting to sprout up. I was wondering how easy it is to get him chest waders he can grow into or should we just get him hip waders for now. Of course in the summer he will just wet wade with us. Might not be too big of an issue because at 15 the boy gets bored easily so most of his fishing will be from the shore of a lake full of bull blue gills, crappies and tiger muskies to start with. Probably spend a lot of time in the canoe with us too.

Mom was so happy to hear us planning this that she started to cry. She thinks it is great that we want to set this up as a reward/motivation system for him too. We will make it clear that we will get him started, take him fishing, hunting and shooting with us but the more he minds his mom, gets better grades and does chores for mom the more gear, time and other things he will get. It seems to me that we need to sit down with him and mom to set down some concrete goals for him. things like if you go from here to the end of the school year without missing another day, unless mom says it is okay to miss, we take you on a weekend camping trip to Black Moshannon State Park with us. I also think we need to get the boy on this web site. I think he will get a kick out of all of you on the board.

I know that is a lot to digest but I would greatly appreciate any thoughts or advice you can give me on this. This young man is just starting down a dark path and I think we can save him right at the trail head so to speak.

Thanks folks.