A couple weeks ago a friend and I were headed to run an errand; I was driving and decided to take the short-cut that runs by Brushy Creek so we could see what the water was looking like. As I approached the bridge I slowed down (as usual) and both of us happened to spot some kids fishing. One in particular caught our eye though because it looked like he was holding a fly rod. I immediately (and without asking if we had time) pulled in to the gravel parking area.
Both of us were giddy as we crossed the road and headed towards him, so much so, we had to force ourselves to slow down to keep from coming off crazy. My friend took the lead in starting off the conversation and I stayed pretty quiet until the kid asked me a few questions too.
I wish you could have seen what this kid was working with. Not only was the rod a monster but the tip was broken off by about two feet, there was no leader – just a (maybe) foot long section of monofilament, and he was using his version of a home-made fly. He did not let that get him down though. Sure, he mentioned wanting to get a rod that wasn’t broken but he could still cast like a champ considering what he was working with. After a little conversation about fishing, of course, my friend and I exchanged glances and each knew that we wanted to find some way to help him, even if it was just for the day.
I quietly mentioned that I was pretty sure I had a couple of leaders and some extra flies in the trunk of my car from our fishing adventure earlier that day. He nodded and let our new friend know that we were going to check on something and would be right back. We hurried back to the car, found a leader and some random flies that we knew would work out for him and returned to where he was. After tying a loop in his fly line and showing him how to put the leader on with the loop to loop connection we tied a fly on for him and gave him the other flies we had brought back for him. After a couple casting pointers and an exchange of a business card with contact information on it my friend and I continued on with our original task for the evening.
A couple of days later driving down that same short cut I noticed that the kid was out there again. Of course, I pulled in and parked, but this time I grabbed my 2 weight and went on down to check out how he was doing. He immediately recognized me and said that he had tried to call my friend on the number he gave him but it didn’t work. After some conversation and some casting, I made sure that he had both of our numbers and I headed home.
I couldn’t stop thinking about wanting to help him. There were some things in the conversation that made me wonder about his home life and I was amazed that he wasn’t like most kids you hear about these days. You know, the ones that stay home playing video games or hang out with the wrong crowds. No, he was outside, fishing…fly fishing at that. He was also respectful, inquisitive and eager to catch fish on the fly. So, I posted on Facebook and Twitter that I wanted to help him out with getting a new-to-him rod…