Saturday, June 6, 2009

First steps

Every year I guide a lot of beginners - usually a couple family members, husband-wife, father-son, etc. Sometimes 15 or 20, in addition to those that attend my Learn-to-fly-fish classes. Every trip is different, but every trip has the same excitement and anticipation of many "Firsts." First successful cast; first fish on a fly; first fish on a dry fly, etc. This is all new to my students and they are naturally pretty excited by all these Firsts. But sharing all those Firsts keeps me energized, as well. Every time my students score a First, I get to share it, and it becomes my First, too. This week I had a lot of Firsts. For one, it is the first time I was a 25th anniversary gift. Yes, I took a husband-wife team out to learn how to fly fish for their anniversary. If that doesn't beat a honeymoon suite in the Poconos, I don't know what does! We fished the Contoocook River in Henniker, and although the hatches have slowed a bit, there were still a few fish looking for food and we fed them. First fish on a fly, First brook trout and first brown trout - sweet!
Then on Friday I took a father-daughter to the Farmington River in CT. Last year the father had spent a couple days in September with us on the Androscoggin River in the 13-mile Woods section near Errol, NH. He caught a lot of fish, improved his casting skills and had a great time. He convinced his daughter, a BC college student, to give it a try and they both had a great time. We chose the Farmington, since they live near "The City" and it is a river they can fish from home. After a few casting and mending lessons, we caught some of those highly-educated browns that the Farmington River is known for. Can you remember the excitement of your first fish on a fly? How about your son/daughter's first fish? How about their first fish on a dry fly? I do!

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