There certainly seems to be a “life cycle” as a fly fisherman with various stages that allow anglers to enjoy their passion in a variety of ways. Some of these stages could be exploring new water, targeting a new species of fish, or chasing after that “stud” fish of a lifetime. I think every angler has a bucket list, and the beauty of fly fishing is that bucket list can vary drastically depending on personal preferences and the resources available.
Last week I revisited the first stage or birthplace, if you will, for me personally as a fly fisherman. Nearly 15 years ago, my grandfather took me to a small mountain stream in Central Pennsylvania that you can literally jump across searching for native brook trout. It was the first time I caught the fever of fly fishing. It was also the first time I caught a fish on my own with a fly that I had tied myself.
I will never forget that day, that fish, or that fly. Since then, fly fishing has opened my eyes to endless miles of water that connected me with a large network of anglers and dear friends.
Last weekend for Father’s Day, I had the opportunity to revisit that small mountain stream with my dad and grandfather. It was a very special experience getting back to the roots of my fly fishing career. I didn’t find a fish larger than 6 inches, but each and every fish caught felt like a trophy.
As I worked up through that cherished section of water, my mind couldn’t help but recollect on all the experiences I have had, things I have learned, places I’ve explored, or people I have met since that first day 15 years ago. Fly fishing has played a critical part in molding me into the person that I am today, as I’m sure it has with many other anglers as well.
That small mountain stream with native brook trout is merely a thin blue line on a map to the average eye. To me, it serves as the birthplace of my fly fishing career. Where did your story begin?
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