From a Father's Perspective

Updated: Sep 2, 2019

It seems like in today’s society, the success of your parenting ability is measured by the success of the children you produce. I have witnessed some parents that are really concerned about their children, and the children end up making really poor decisions. I've also seen parents that don't show a lot of interest in their children’s lives, yet they grow up to become very successful by today’s standards. Trust me, I think a lot of it has to do with luck.

Recently, the success of my parenting ability was measured on a long weekend by the ability of my two sons teaching me how to dry fly fish. I must point out, my fishing knowledge is probably equivalent to a high school diploma in bass fishing, a vocational technical certificate in crappie fishing, and at least one year of community college work in catfish fishing. All said, my main focus the last few years has been shoving fiberglass poles with a line attached to them into the mud bottom rivers of northern Missouri.

As our seven hour journey began, I could tell that I was going to be of very little value to the conversation along the way. With questions like: “Who’s the lead singer for the Smashing Pumpkins? Will the Trico hatch be in full swing?, and, have you ever seen Full Metal Jacket?” My only contribution was going to be the financial end of the Petro Stop and the pizza carousel at the neighborhood Casey’s along the way.

(editor’s note: As you may have seen, this is a guest article submitted by Roy “Upstream” Figg (RUF for short). If you are interested in becoming a guest contributor, it’s fairly straight forward. All you need to do is to pay for our food and beverages, cook the occasional camping meal, and take a turn at the wheel. All interested parties please leave us a message at the bottom of this page.)

This lingo that trout fisherman use is beyond anything I’ve ever encountered. With terms like: rises (not raises, as I offered during the weekend and was immediately smirked at), a good drift, and a chemical based solution placed on the fly to keep it from sinking, was more than I could handle. As we pulled into the campground parking lot, my driver and his esteemed co-pilot were quick to point out that, “Looks like a bunch of spinners, don't see a single fly rod leaning against a camper”.

As we headed to the stream for my first encounter, I quickly realized that under the right conditions, trout fishing can be a spectator sport. With a quick lesson on watching for rises, my two companions headed into the stream. From a perch on the bank, I could watch them both, and to my surprise, within a couple of hours, they had landed (or as trout fisherman say, netted) close to a dozen, it seemed like a good start and they were happy.

Day two brought Dad into the game. With rod in hand, much to the coaching, encouraging, and politeness, the trout were just not cooperating.

That day started out very slow for my two fishing partners as well. The only success was a twenty inch Rainbow on a gizmo called a Tinkyada. (Possibly spelled Tankara, I’m not sure). Sounded like a simple enough way of fishing, and I was told the Japanese folks were the ones who developed it. I even scored using the method by the end of the day.

Ty and Travis on day two of the trip

Day three and I was set to finally land my first trout on a dry fly. I was told good luck and my two coaches headed out to the other parts of the stream. It seemed like a lot to remember. Watch the current trends, look for rises, don't have drag on your line, and get a good drift.

I was also educated about trout fishermen on this day. My youngest of four children stated that he was “Headed upstream to get lost in the stream”. Initially, I thought he wanted to be by himself for a while, but by the end of our trip, I knew exactly what he meant.

The evening of day three brought Dad success. As you can tell by the pic, the older guy is smiling, but the real big smile is on the younger one. He literally ran into the stream with the net in hand to make sure it was a success.

Dad's first trout on a dry fly!

Day four was another success for Dad. I was in a part of the stream by myself, still trying to digest all of the “coaching” that I had been given over the past 48 hours. That evening was the real success. I was finally able to add to the conversation.

After a couple of “barley pops and blue yummies” as they are called, number one son found a quarter that had been minted in 1965, and we wondered where the coin had been over the past fifty some years.

We took turns passing the quarter around the table, discussing where it had been for a certain period of time. I suggested places like cigarette machines, ashtrays, piggy banks, and movie tickets. My companions of thirty-four and twenty years of age had no idea what I was talking about. They suggested places like banks, slot machines, machines that contain products to protect you from STDS and feminine hygiene items.

Day five of the trip was the making of a fly fishermen. We had a short slot of fishing time before we had to head home, and I was given my choice of stream location. Within two hours, I had missed four and landed two others. I was by myself and the coaching points of reference were becoming more natural.

For two hours, I focused on rises, good casts, and being at one with the stream. I was “lost in the stream”.

I will always cherish that long weekend of learning to fly fish. And yes, from my perspective, my children are successfulI.

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