Most of us that are serious anglers today had early teaching and outings from our original super hero. Pops. I was fortunate enough to have a father that was very into fly fishing. Other than minnow fishing occasionally or surf-fishing I didn’t touch traditional gear, pops just always handed me a fly rod – probably because I wouldn’t stop bugging him. To this day I don’t know gear fishing and don’t gear fish. Fly or die, baby.
Fast forward to my teenage years, my father never lost his interest in fishing but I never really gained mine till later in my life. I would join him on the occasional trip, having fun but never taking it too serious. I was more interested in sports, girls and doing hood-rat shit… with my hood-rat friends. In all seriousness, we were just being teenagers having fun and worrying about consequences later. It wasn’t till I would move almost 500 miles away from home that I would soon miss what made home, my home. Friends, family, the south, and yes fishing with pops.
I graduated from HVAC trade school in the fall at age 20 and was home in Virginia before people finished walking off stage. Home sick would have been an understatement for what I was feeling. I came home to news from Pops that he had joined a club that could fish a certain lake about 35 minutes away. Boats where already there only a select few people have the key, what’s not to get excited about? We wake up early one spring morning and head out to the lake.
Like I said, I hadn’t been too seriously involved in fishing before. Less than a weekend warrior. Pops handed me his 6 weight St. Croix legend, rigged with a Murdich minnow. I looked at him and said, “Do I fish this like a nymph?” He laughed, “No, you strip that bad boy. Hard.” Him being the know-all fishermen in my eyes (and still is), I listened.
I was blown away from the action of the fly as it swung making “s” motions, 5 to 12 inches under the water. We caught fish all day. Just watching largemouth bass come and t-bone the fly with such aggression and power. That was all I needed. I was hooked. Not only does that fly have some memories of my father with it, more importantly it got me hooked. Hooked on fishing. Hooked On a whole new world with new people and experiences.
Haven’t looked back since.
By Trois Jeter