I became a single dad in 2000 with a ten year old daughter and 7 year old son under my roof. I'd take them with me fly fishing on weekends because I couldn't leave them at home. At first, they didn't care much for it, preferring to throw rocks and such. But after a few trips my daughter became interested and I taught her to cast, mend and tie on her own flies.
Time passed and she became a young lady, but her interest in fly fishing stayed constant. She casts with a delicate stroke, mends quietly, and sets the hook decisively. For Christmas a few years back, I bought her a nice 9 ft. 4 weight outfit from Little River. In fact, I bought 4 identical rigs (for all the kids now under my new roof.) Thank you for helping us, Paula.
Once or twice a year, I like to treat her and her siblings to some private fly fishing on the Soque River in Georgia at a "pay and play" stretch of river. I know there are mixed feelings among purists about kept fish and "pellet pigs", but for kids (and their dads too) it can be a great treat if you can handle the sticker shock. I figure that if it keeps all of us in the outdoors and out of trouble, it's probably worth it. The fish, honestly, are no push-over. They're fished to hard, almost daily, by good anglers, and catching a trophy is not a gimme. If you can't cast well and get a good drift, you may go home skunked.
It was with some pride, them, that I noticed that on these trips my girl caught fish, and plenty of them, on her visits there.
As time went by, they grew in size and number.
It wasn't long before I noted that the student had now passed her dad in her abilities....
My daughter is home from college and I took her to the Soque last Sunday on a dreary, rainy day. I wasn't surprised when I looked upstream and saw her rod deeply bent at a large pool. After a lengthy tussle, we netted this nice brown.
She landed this fish on 5x flouro tippet on a size 20 wd-40 nymph. Well, that's one I know I'll never top. Guess dragging her to the river all those years finally paid off. I'm a proud dad!