We pulled the old fishing truck into the
weeds along the old dirt road, got out and strung up
our rods. The pools we planned to fish were already in sight,
but the traffic on the road was almost nonexistent,
and most of them were on a beer run and couldn't care
less what we were up to.
My fishing partner was a lumbering 13 year
old who was already six-foot two and 230 pounds.
I couldn't come up with size 14 waders, so we decided
to wade wet in short rubber boots.
We'd been practicing, he and I. Roll casts
in the farm pond beside his house, long casting in the
one beside mine. Target casting on the lawn when the pond
banks were too muddy.
I thought Maybe, just maybe we were ready
for an outing to a REAL stream. You see, my fishin'
buddy has ADD, (Attention Deficit Disorder)and keeping
him focused on casting was a real chore. For someone
who cares passionately about fly fishing, it is really
hard to teach someone who appears, for all the world,
not to give a hoot.
The spot was picture perfect, the riffle
spilled into the pool over a short ledge, and ran smack
up against a granite outcropping, turning to form the
deep pool. Fingers of ledge reached into the pool and
provided us with access and good traction. Sam chose
the far bank and planted himself on a strip of ledge
just clear of the granite outcropping, and began to
strip out line. I stayed on the other side of the pool,
a scant 50 feet away, where I could coach and fish.
The purple woolly buggers were just small
enough to mimic the resident leach population as well
as the abundant dragonfly larvae, but getting my pal's
interest focused to the task would be my day's challenge.
I began the coaching that had become familiar to me,
describing what I was doing as I did it, and hoping
that there would be enough interest to keep Sam focused.
"Strip out line, make sure it stays free
as it begins to move in the water, OK, now wiggle the
rod tip and watch the line straighten out for you, ready
for the pick up?"
Well, it was only a seven-inch shiner,
but it could have been a trophy trout
for all it mattered. Attention Focused. Lesson Learned.
And you ask me why I'm a 4-H Fishing Club Leader? ~ Bob Mowdy
If you are interested in teaching kids to fly
fish, make sure you also read this week's LadyFisher
Column, where Bob gives more info on the 4 H fishing program.