My Mom and Dad put fishing poles in my brother’s hands and my hands at an early age. My Dad grew up fly fishing in Western Montana and my Mom enjoyed the sport just as much. It always seemed like get-togethers revolved around friends, water and good times.
I was about twelve when Mom received a bonus at work. Instead of paying bills or putting the money into savings, my parents decided to buy a jon boat. At this time, we had moved to Spangle, Washington – a small farming community that is surrounded by lakes, rivers and all sorts of places to fish.
I had many friends who got into trouble doing stupid things, but I looked to fishing as a hobby throughout my teenage years. Mom and Dad would hook up the boat, drive me to Chapman Lake and leave me there for the day. This probably isn’t something most parents do today, but at the time, I could count on the locals just in case I needed help. Mom would leave me with a lunch and I was set.
To this day, I clearly remember my first bass. I had purchased a brown jig and began carelessly tossing it around the rocks not knowing exactly what I was doing. As I had set my rod down to get a Capri sun, my rod tip slammed down and the fight was on. What seemed like a giant back then most likely was a one-pound smallmouth today. I still remember its light brown color and red eyes. This was the first bass that got me hooked on the sport.
I understand that my experience is unique and there are lots of kids that do not have the fortune of fishing from a boat at a young age. Nevertheless, there are many lakes in the area that provide boat rentals and/or fishing gear. A quick drive to the lake can teach a kid a lot about life – patience, perseverance, and responsibility. It always helps to have supporting parents, but if you find yourself without this luxury, don’t hesitate to get started from the shore.
Grab your tackle box, a rod and your lunch, and get a line wet. You never know what you might catch.
* To see ole’ faithful in her new skin, click here. My Mom and Dad once again put in time, money, and pride into getting our boat looking like new…again.