First and foremost, I would like to say Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom fly anglers reading this, and to the fathers and children reading this, be sure to tell your wives and moms Happy Mother’s Day. This article is a tribute to all moms out there, but specifically to the moms that share our rivers and our passion, and even more specifically to my mom. So here goes.
Moms have a way of driving their kids up the wall; from things like question after question after question, to being way to over protective, to just not really listening to their kids when the kids are trying to teach her something. My mom is no different. Over the years she has asked a million different questions that I was probably only able to answer around a thousand of them. She has definitely been over protective at times, but I think most moms are that way. The last few years I have been trying to teach her to fly fish, so that she can be more involved with my dad and I while we are out on the water. This has been a pretty difficult task to say the least, and ironically, for someone who devoted her ‘working’ life as an educator, she has been a difficult student.
Now in her third season fly fishing, things are really starting to click. It’s been very fun and slightly frustrating watching and helping her progression. She has gone from a leader tangling disaster, to now knowing where she should be casting her fly, and also knowing what I mean when I tell her to mend in a particular direction. There are still plenty of times when I have to tell her to pay attention to her indicator, because wildlife and scenery are severe distractions for her, but she is progressing nicely.
Mom’s first trout landed was on a Tenkara rod, I didn’t even realize trout came that small, but it was certainly a start. Now, many fish and many tangles later, she has become the almost perfect guide client. She knows enough to understand what I am telling her to do, but she knows that she doesn’t know enough about fly fishing, so when I tell her to do something, she does it. The chaos that follows once a fish has been hooked still happens, but even that is dramatically starting to improve. She stomps her feet on the bottom of the boat when she misses fish and gets a wee bit upset when she loses one. She has gone from that first 1.5″ rainbow trout, to a 20″+ brown trout catching machine.
Like I mentioned before, it’s been a fun and slightly frustrating experience taking part in her progression as a fly angler, but that is pretty much how fly fishing is at times in general. With any luck, we will get her casting skills to a level where she is proficient at landing a small saltwater fly on a target, so maybe this next winter we can add some pictures of mom holding redfish rather than trout.
Happy Mother’s Day!