My Passion for Fly-Fishing Notes FromThe Field
Fishing, especially fly-fishing, is something I’ve always loved and try to do every year for my birthday. The fact that National Go Fishing Day and my birthday take place in June is no coincidence. Some of the earliest memories I have are of visiting my grandparents in Virginia and fishing. I remember spending a lot of my time sitting by the pond with my grandmother as she fished (no pun intended) earthworms out of an old Folgers coffee can and helped my brother, sister, and me put them on our hooks so we could cast out our lines. One particularly interesting fishing trip was when my mom’s brother, Uncle Marshall, took my brother and me on a fishing trip to some of the creeks in Virginia when I was in high school. I remember that at one point, we strung up the fish we had caught on a stringer and left them in the river so we could wander down the creek to do some more fishing. But when we came back, the fish were all gone — a muskrat had scurried away with all our fish. Uncle Marshall didn’t want us to be disappointed, so he took us to a trout farm, and we caught some massive 4–5-pound rainbow trout that, looking back, he must have paid $4–$5 a pound for. Those trips with Uncle Marshall and my brother developed my passion for fishing, but it wasn’t until a few years later that we discovered the joy of fly-fishing. About 16 or 17 years ago, my brother and I decided to give fly-fishing a try for the first time. It didn’t go well at first; there was a lot of swearing and “Why am I doing this?”moments. But once we got the hang of it, we caught the fly-fishing bug — it’s the only true way to fish. Today, fishing is an annual occurrence for my brother, my oldest son, some of our closest buddies, and myself. We get together for a week in Southern Utah where our property is at and go fly-fishing. We’ve had
My brother and me fishing with Uncle Marshall
some great times and seen some amazing sights. Sometimes we’ll fish in high mountain lakes or off the shores of rivers, which is always amazing. Any kind of trout you can think of, Southern Utah has, which is one of the reasons we always look forward to going back each year. Once, we even went fishing in the middle of a downpour thunderstorm. Thankfully, there was no lightning. I remember that trip in particular because it was like a switch went off. The fish started biting like crazy just as it had started to rain. We were getting soaked down to the bone and having a great time all the while. Four years ago, I had an amazing opportunity to go with our fishing guide to Kiritimati, or the “Christmas Island” in the Pacific Ocean, which is 100 miles south of the equator. The guide usually helps us find the best fishing spots in Southern Utah, and I was thrilled to get the chance to go with them on this trip. We went bonefishing on flats and caught bonefish, milkfish, and even a blacktip shark on a fly rod. In my experience as a fisherman, I don’t know of anything else that people light up about or are as intrigued about as fishing. Everybody can fish, which makes it a great activity to share with your friends and loved ones. I’m hoping that everyone can enjoy the outdoors again soon without worrying about social distancing, even though when fishing, you never want to stand too close to one another, lest you accidentally catch one of your friends instead of a fish. Right, Rich?
The Annual Boyz Trip in Southern Utah
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