As a father of multiple boys, I've done my very best to get my children involved in the great outdoors, be it fishing or chasing something with a webbed foot. My brother likes to say "You can take a child fishing or you can fish with a child”. I prefer the latter part of that quote. The whole conversation of making a child “wait out” a very slow fishing expedition can back fire, no matter how good the snacks are. They need to learn to love the sport and the whole process of teaching children patience can wait for another opportunity in my opinion.
In the early fishing trips a lot of the questions seem to start with “ Can I…”. If you're a parent, the endings of this great and sometimes scary start can be filled with anything one can imagine. I've found that the more common ones are “run, jump, climb, throw, catch, and cast. Never does it end with “ sit still until the fish start biting”.
Since my last pinning I have turned the magic three score. For you history buffs that took a liking to Abraham Lincoln, that’s the big “ 60”. My first trout fishing trip consisted of my two traveling amigos teaching their father to fly fish. This consisted of some very patient and constant coaching. I told them I was training them for father hood by asking some of the questions that I had previously spoke of in this article. By the end of the first trip, the response was something along the line of “ Dad, we've had enough training for one day”.
By the end of our second trip I noticed that a lot of their questions took a different angle from when they were younger. The questions seemed to start with the same generic “Can I”, but the endings were different. Instead of requesting permission to do something that ended with stitches or a cast on some extremity, they were permission to help.
With the above mentioned advancement in years, things don’t work physically like they use to. With this in mind, the most popular questions ended with “ tie your fly on, help you out of the stream, or, hold your rod while you make it up the bank”.
I also noticed that they put me in the best spots, always had words of
encouragement, and were always kind enough to try my ideas. Its kinda nice, but at the same time shows my advancement of years.
Teaching children to love the great outdoors can make for years of excitement. Time spent in the trout stream or duck blind can't be matched in many other places.
I'm officially on the other end of “ Can I……….”
- Upstream Roy-
*The above article was provided by our guest author; Upstream Roy. To read more from him, see From a Father's Perspective