OBN has given out a writing prompt this week...a favorite childhood story of the great outdoors...I honestly don't have any fishing stories when I was young because I didn't start all of this until just a few years ago. (Yes, my mid-life crisis, as my friends and family say, but I call it my mid-life rejuvenation!) My childhood consisted of other outdoor activities, in Southern California. I spent many sunny days at the beach and many nights at Anaheim Stadium. (Los Angeles Angels) Stay tuned, as this story will be coming soon...I always loved being outside, but the "wilderness" areas weren't really close by. So, I bring you a story of last summer up in Yellowstone, WY. And for the next month, there will be more adventures from the Yellowstone National Park.
So, we go back to last July, 2010...I only had three days to see as much as I could of Eastern Idaho and the Yellowstone area. It was a whirlwind trip to say the least! Eight rivers in three days. Yes, you read that right. So, if you ever want to fish with me, you better be ready to move!!! Ahh, I'm just kidding around...well, maybe. Anyhoot, I'm going to share a story that happened on the Lava Creek in Yellowstone on this trip. A few friends and I had been fishing the Lamar River for most of the day. On our way back to our camping area, we spotted this creek and just couldn't pass it by. Had to, had to...you know how it goes! What a pretty setting on the side of the main highway. A nice little picnic area with benches, lots of shade, and a creek full of bubbling brookies! We got geared up and headed down the grassy slope to the contingency of trout. Oh, this was quite the find...we worked one side of the highway and then the other side. Some very nice 6 to 12 in brook trout in this creek.
We headed back to our vehicles to get some different flies and there was a family gearing up. We chatted for a few minutes and came to find out the parents of a young boy (about 8-10 yrs old) had brought their son to Yellowstone for his first fly fishing experience. What a great thing, right? Well, it was a great idea, except there was no one to teach him the basics...hmmmm. His dad had fished with a spin rod a little and that was about the size of it. But, they had bought a fly rod for the youngster.
So, one of my friends decided that they looked perplexed enough to offer some assistance. Kind of like Fishing 911...something in a hurry, but effective. No time for a Fishing 101 class. So, one of my friends pulled out the fly boxes, tippets and a big smile and said, "Let's start!" In twenty minutes, tops...the young boy was at the creek pulling out a brookie. He screamed and then laughed and what a sight it was. What could have been a frustrating vacation with that fly rod turned out to be a great first experience which will probably lead to a life long journey for him. It was the best moment of our trip, for sure. Nothing could top that afternoon when we saw that smiling face with the trout on the end of his line! We packed up and headed to camp. A memorable day for the boy and for us too. Sometimes it is about giving a little time and sharing your talents to make someone else's day a little brighter... ; )