Last Saturday I had a Lions club function
that took up the early part of the day. I
was not done with this until 8:30 in the
morning. Knowing that this was coming I had
made arrangements to take a teenager out
fishing with me. He had fished a couple
of times before but had never used a fly rod.
I got everything loaded in the truck and went
to his house to pick him up. His father was
very nice in that he stressed that Sterling
would need to do everything that I told him.
We took off and headed for a pond. Having
received about 3.5 inches of rain on Thursday
night and early Friday morning there were many
places that we could not get to.
We got to the pond and unloaded the canoe. I
had spent some time earlier with Sterling and
he could cast about 25 to 30 feet. I had made
him do this sitting down so he would be able to
do it in the canoe. We reviewed things on the bank
and then got onto the pond. We were dealing with
a wind that was blowing about 15 mph straight out
of the west. I had Sterling turn to the left and
cast that direction while he was in the front of
the canoe. I turned to the right a little and cast
I saw that the water was discolored a little
but felt that using white flies might help them
to be a little more visible. I had tied up a
few bugs with a white marabou tail with a few
stands of krystal flash in it, a white chenille
body and three white legs at the front. I have
used this pattern in olive and black before. These
were on size 10 streamer hooks. They also had a
small bead head on them to help them get a
I really wanted Sterling to catch the first fish,
so I watched him as he worked on the cast for a
while. He was so excited to be out that he did the
normal thing of trying to muscle the line out. I
let him do that for a few minutes and then reminded
him that it would work better if he remembered
what we had practiced before. He asked me to show
him again so I did one cast for him and then told him to
duplicate most of it.
He got a fairly nice cast out, about 25 feet. I
told him to let the fly drop a little and then
to slowly start to retrieve it. He had moved it
about 4 to 5 feet when I saw the line moving
and told him to set the hook.
What came next was a barrel of laughs, but also
great fun for Sterling. He sat the hook and then
started stripping the line in slowly. The rod
tip was bouncing around all over the place,
partly from the fish and partly from Sterling.
He would get some line in and then in his
excitement he would let go of the line and
the fish would take the line out and we would
start again. I finally had him reel some of the
line in so that he could get the fish landed.
He had a nice bluegill of about 10 inches.
He was so excited and wanted to get another one.
I cautioned him that it might take a little while,
as fish don't bite every time you cast the fly
out. He fished out of the front and I started
in the back then. By fishing the flies very
slowly and steadily we were able to catch
some fish. Sterling did have a little trouble
seeing when there was a fish on the line.
It would have been easier without the wind.
We moved around the pond as we were getting
one or two strikes at each place we stopped.
Sterling did have several bass hit the fly,
but he never got the rod tip down, so they
tossed the fly. The main thing was that he
was having a good time.
After about one and a half hours he said that
he was getting tired so we headed back for
the truck. He helped get everything loaded
and we headed for the house to fillet the fish.
I had him help fillet by taking the fillets off
the skin. I had talked to his father about this
previously and he had okayed it. He did a very
good job of that.
As I was taking him home, I had him take fish
to a few folks that I supply with fish. They
all made a big thing of him bringing the fish
to them. I felt it was a good lesson to learn
to share the fish.
Later that evening I heard that Sterling had
cooked the fish and made the rest of the meal.
He was one proud kid that he could do that.
It was fun to take him out and see him catch
his first fly rod fish. It was also fun to watch
him get hooked on fly fishing. He asked me Sunday
when I saw him if I would take him again sometime.
I said that we would get that done.
I hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick