home for the Thanksgiving holiday and my sister told me about a special moment that her daughter experienced recently. She was fishing with her brothers off the dock below their camp which they often do. Typically they catch perch and sunfish of normal size. On that day she hooked into something much more substantial and this is the photo taken right before they released the largemouth almost half her size. It was a special moment for all involved, especially the parents who are both anglers.
This made me think about the moments in my past that helped me develop a passion for fishing. I wondered if a few special instances at just the right time fueled my desire or if it was one long collective of moments. As I pondered the question, a slow flow of angling experiences was released from my hard drive that I hadn't remembered for a long time.
I recalled hooking a big trout as a kid under a road culvert down a backroad. The fish got off right before I could land it. I remembered seeing a huge brown race out from an undiscovered pool way upstream on a small upstate New York creek that I fished when I could convince my mother to drop me off and pick me up. I recalled the day a blue heron taught me everything I needed to know about being stealthy on a roadside stream.
Another memory was from a long fight with a Great Lakes run salmon on a 6wt. that went long after the sun set only to break off in blackness, making me realize I was under-gunned. That led to the purchase of a custom 2pc. Sage Graphite II RP 9 1/2' 7wt. in 1987.
I also vividly remembered walking down to the mouth of a Maine estuary as a young freshwater adult just arriving in the state and seeing a 40" striper sulk past my feet, again giving me that under-gunned feeling; opening my eyes up to a whole new saltwater game. There were other memories too, of people, places, insects, birds and much more subtle moments, but ingrained lessons just the same.
I never really answered my question but I figured I'd share this with all of you hoping that it might make you remember something special too. Keep the line in the water and believe in every cast.