For me, fishing has always been associated with family.
My dad tells me that I was two months old on my first fishing trip and we continue that tradition to this day. Some of my fondest memories include my dad, sister, and occasionally my mom, enjoying the great outdoors on a beautiful river or lake.
Since becoming a fishing guide I have preached the joys of spending time with family and friends while on the water. Regardless of how good the fishing is, quality time on the water with loved ones is hard to beat.
Recently, I have had the opportunity to spend quality time on the river with my dad and have had the chance to introduce my girlfriend’s family to the sport of fly-fishing. Each experience was extremely rewarding in their own respects.
I have been lucky to show the Hyndmans – Ken, Judy, Gwyneth and Sean – the beautiful rivers that I call home. Ken and Gwyneth are now fly-fishing veterans after hitting the river a year ago, but Judy and Sean took their first casts just a few weeks ago. It is always rewarding seeing the face of a beginner when they hook into a trout, but seeing the joy and excitement on Judy’s face was something special. Judy lives with a disability and uses the support of crutches to walk most of the time. When she expressed interest in trying to fly-fish I was determined to give her the full experience. Instead of sitting on the bank, I made the decision to set up a chair in the river and to give her the chance to wade and cast from the water. With the help of the rest of the family we got Judy to the water and I began the casting lesson. Fortunately, the fishing gods where looking down on us and within a few casts we had a beautiful brown trout on the end of the line. The thrill and emotion shared between all of us was overwhelming as we put the trout into the net!
A week after helping Judy check off the bucket list fish that she didn’t even know about, my Dad made his annual fishing trip to Montana in search of his bucket list fish.
Over the last few years he has been extremely jealous of the big fish pictures that I send him. On this trip he had the goal to land the “big one” himself and he termed it his bucket list fish. Since the summer season had wrapped up I was able to spend plenty of time with him on this quest. Through his couple of weeks in Montana we had some great days on the Madison and Missouri Rivers. Introducing him to the feisty trout of the Missouri River was an amazing experience. The strength and size of these fish are enough to make any experienced angler chuckle and grin like a little kid on christmas morning. My Dad was no exception when his reel began to scream after hooking into a his first 20 inch Missouri River rainbow. After being schooled by a few hot fish he was finally able to get one into the net. This beauty taped around 22″, weighed 5-6 pounds and my Dad exclaimed that it was the biggest trout he has ever landed!
These experiences have reminded me of one of the biggest reasons that I love fishing; all of the lasting memories that are created with friends and family.