February 25, 2008

A recent topic brought up at roughfish.com about how I came to be interested in fishing got me to thinking....

I grew up in Hawaii. My dad taught me to fish. I don't know how old I was when I started, but it was before I could really remember anything. My ancestors fished to survive, and so did their ancestors, and so on. It is in my blood. I used to play around in the streams and caught all sorts of tropicals like guppies and tetras, crawfish, prawns, and of course koi. I have particularly fond memories of playing in Manoa stream after school got out with my friends. My dad had a pretty ornate pond that he constructed by hand from lava rock. All of us kids helped finding rocks from time to time to add to the pond. The fish we caught we added to the pond over time. My dad fabricated all sorts of metal screen traps to catch these fish; it was pretty cool. We did a fair amount of inshore fishing, from fishing beaches with heavy surf gear, to fishing reefs with cane poles. I even remember catching rocks crabs with a bare hook and fishing line. We had outings deep sea fishing for tuna and mahi-mahi. We even had a few fishing trips to Minnesota, fishing with my uncle.

My parent's split up when I was about 6 or 7. I moved with my mom and youngest sister to be back with family in MN when I was 11. Luckily my grandpa and uncle introduced me to the wonders of freshwater fishing and fly-fishing. I've had some great memories shared with them both. Fishing for lake trout and salmon on Lake Superior, evening trips to the Kinnickinnic fishing for trout, I even remember a trip to the Apple River catching bass on a trusty old Mepps spinner. My uncle's introduction to fly-fishing is something that has stuck with me till this day. I am grateful for that, as fishing and fly tying are one of my few refuges left in this world.

Although I haven't gotten to spend a whole lot of time with my dad since I moved to MN, nearly 20 years ago, fishing is one of the strongest memories that I have of the time I spent him. That's why teaching my daughter to fish will be one of the biggest accomplishments and highlights of my life.