Monday, January 16, 2012

Learning to Fly Fish - Parenting Plights & Delights


I would like to thank JJ Botta of The Disconnected Writer blog for sharing the following parenting story with me. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did:

Years ago, I used to fly fish for trout in the Catskill Mountains of New York. I had a business partner who introduced me to the sport, and I became a fanatic.

Now for those who have never tried it, or those who think fishing is just fishing, it would be a stretch to believe fly fishing is an art. But it is, and fly fishermen are serious about it. In fact, most of us eventually learn to tie our own flies. There is a special feeling of accomplishment for one to tie an artificial bug to the end of a line and fool a fish as cagey as a trout. 

When my son was around six years old, I took him on one of my fishing excursions to the mountains. After camping out all night, we hit the rivers early morning, and I used every trick I had learned over time, but all to no avail. Around noon, disheartened, we went into town for lunch, where I treated my son to pizza, while I talked fishing to the others who got “skunked” that morning. Without paying much attention to the boy, I kept assuring him he could “have” any of the condiments lined up on the counter top at the pizzeria. He always took things literally.

Apparently, everyone’s luck was bad that morning, and the most experienced anglers were convinced it was the fly selection responsible for the lack of fishing action. Determining the exact fly to imitate what trout are eating on any particular day is essential to the art. We were all certain the “locals” knew something we did not, so a group of men, myself included, wandered over to the fly shop, where thousands of flies were offered to the public. The proprietor insisted there were no “special” flies that would yield more success, but we all knew fishermen lie.

As we continued to explore the selection, one gentleman I did not know noticed that the flies in one cabinet had a peculiar odor about them. Soon, everyone in the store smelled the flies, and there was no doubt about it. The locals had a secret.

Once we figured out the special make-believe insects were scented, we started buying up the place. Every fisherman in the establishment purchased handfuls of the tiny lifelike creatures in hopes of a festive afternoon catch. I bought three dozen!

The afternoon failed to pan out. Not a bite. I packed it in around 7:00 pm, and found myself back at the tackle shop in the company of the same fishermen I had met at lunch time. No one caught a fish. As we exchanged ideas and strategies for the following day, I noticed my son over at the fly display. I called to him and asked him not to touch anything. He did not respond.

Then, in a sentence etched into the memory banks of every would-be fisherman in the area that day, I said to my son, “What are you doing over there?” His reply was classic. “Nothing. I’m just putting more garlic powder on these fake bugs.” 

So, do you have a parenting or grandparenting incident? 
If you're not a parent, memories from your own childhood count, too! 

Warning: I might feature your story in a future post. 
(Names can be changed to protect the guilty!)

I'd like to thank those who shared a parenting story with me last week. 
I'm saving them and will publish some in future posts.

If you don't want to leave a comment but would rather contact me by email, 
here's my address: lynkelwoohoo at yahoo dot com.

21 comments:

Sarah Pearson said...

This is just brilliant! The owner of the tackle shop should have given him a cut :-)

Old Kitty said...

Garlic flies! LOL!! Even if no-one caught fish that day, they'd never forget why! Take care
x

oceangirl said...

Cute story. I wish I could remember some parenting stories. I'm not sure what happened but the kids just turned into men.

JJ said...

I must admit, I started laughing at the incident again this morning. Old Kitty is correct. We have never forgotten it.

Thanks, Lynn.

susielindau.com said...

So funny I had to read this to my husband!!

catherinemjohnson said...

That is hilarious! Did anyone hear him reply? How funny!

LynNerdKelley said...

Sarah - I agree. The boy should have gotten a cut!

Old Kitty - So true, this is a story no one could forget!

Oceangirl - I wonder the same thing sometimes, how in the world my kids grew up so fast!

JJ - Thanks so much for sharing this adorable story with us!

Susie - Oh, that's so cool that you read this to your husband. I hope he got a good chuckle!

Catherine - Yes, a hilarious story. I got the impression that they all heard him reply! LOL!

J. A. Bennett said...

That is fantastic! lol!

Theresa Milstein said...

Ha! So bugs don't like fake garlic powder?

I'll try to think of a story. If I do, I'll return.

Coleen Patrick said...

Another great story Lynn! Thanks for the smile :)

L.G.Smith said...

So they were like vampire fish afraid of garlic? Ha! Very funny. Husband is a fly-fisherman and he would agree it is an art, a dance, and a religion. :)

Diane Capri said...

I told my husband this story and he laughed aloud. He's also positive that the locals know secrets they don't share and fishermen definitely lie! Thanks, Lynn. Lots of giggles here.

LynNerdKelley said...

J.A. - I think it's pretty cool, too!

Theresa - I guess the fish don't like it either! I'd love to hear any of your stories whenever they come to mind. Thanks!

Coleen - You're welcome. Thanks for stopping by!

L.G. - Vampire fish, that's so funny! I think it's so neat that JJ Botta, a father, shared his humorous parenting memory with us because I think a lot of dads will get a kick out of this story! Fly fishing sounds kind of tricky to me!

LynNerdKelley said...

Diane - Thanks for sharing this with your hubby and for passing on his opinions! I love how he agrees with JJ's comments. LOL!

Nancy Thompson said...

Fish don't like garlic? Who knew?! Great story, JJ. Thanks for sharing!

Louise Behiel said...

What a hoot. I hope he got a cut.

cleemckenzie said...

Love those boys! You can't beat them for coming up with the best ideas, can you?

jerzey72 said...

lol great story.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

I'm smiling at this one, Lynn.

LynNerdKelley said...

Nancy - I guess fish don't have good taste. I love garlic!

Lee - Yes, boys sure do come up with some doozies! LOL!

Jerzey72 - Thank you!

Pat - So glad this made you smile. It made me smile, too!

Pat Tillett said...

I tried to learning to fly fish once. Just like every other type of fishing I've done, it didn't turn out well because I'm too A.D.D. and don't have the ability to focus for that long on it! Great story on your part though!