This is not a New Years resolution post. And while it is about a new way of doing things, it’s going to come off more like a confession. Scratch that. A confession implies a level of regret. It’s more like an admission of guilt. I’m learning to spin fish.

There. I said it. Is that even what they call it? Spin fish? Using a spinner reel… Conventional tackle… Soft plastics… Hold on I’m getting nauseous.

But if the main image up top didn’t give this new endeavor away (and it should’ve), it also tells you the reason why.

This guy right here. My boy. No regrets. He’s my reason. I’m sure there’s a technique out there- to somehow teach children to fly fish at age 3. But I’m not that instructor and I want to fish while we’re out there too. Let’s admit it, fly fishing is for the most part a two handed sport. And while I’ve actually witnessed a gentlemen miraculously working through fly casting and retrieval with just one hand- I’m not that guy either. Just not that talented. So add a toddler to the equation and conventional gear (for now), is what you get at casa Airborne.

And I have to say it wasn’t all that bad a jig err, gig anyway. Surprisingly/not surprised, we had a good time. The quality time was incredible (worth the couple hours and cash watching endless YouTube videos and buying gear), to get us out on the water. But what amazed me most what how much he loved it. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.

Now to be clear it wasn’t all that easy either. Hilarity did ensue. After teaching him a few practice casts he took to enjoying it like a fish to water. (Hehe, I’m giggling anyways.) All I had to do was go a few steps outside his cast and he self engaged. What made it hilarious was each of his furtherest casts, outside the normal 8 feet or so, always managed to come off at nearly a 90 degree angle over my line and directly in front of me. Standing there just about 20 feet away. No judgement but if that’s not funny you either don’t fish, and or you don’t have children. So Murphy’s Law was in full effect.

But at the day’s end it was all so worth it. Yeah it felt a little gross as a snobby fly angler to flip a bail on a spinning reel- with a plastic worm on the working end of my rod… but the kid has got to learn to fish some how right? Who’s going to teach him? Me. I’ll man up for my boy-o and get him hooked on fishing (more giggling). And when the gross and fine motor skills are all more developed past the tender age of three- and if he still loves the sport (he had so much fun today) we’ll pick up a fly rod. It’ll be going on like donkey kong then. Teaching a new generation to feed into the sport- albeit a touch down river.

By the way, zero fish were had. And it didn’t matter. I’ll end this post with a quick short story of our drive on the way out to the park and pond. A song I love by Granger Smith, “Miles of Mud Tires”, I regularly play out on the drive to fish goes:

It’s been forever since I’ve seen a hook sink
I got a pole in a box, up in the back seat
And I’ll be taking the long way to the lake
And if I gotta go slow it’s better that way
Country roads, bumping like the stereo

[Chorus]

A little mud on the windshield
A little sun on my skin
Six pack in the seat, nobody but me
Feels good to be rolling around again

Twisting up lyrics like I always do instead of saying “nobody but me” I quickly added “and my little man”. And just like getting the wind knocked out of you I was caught in a moment of slight nostalgia. Remembering how I used to always go fish. Constantly. Like a mad man. Whenever I wanted. When I was single. When I wasn’t a dad. Then like a flash of lighting I concurred- those were not the “good ol’ days.” I had a little man. And a little girl. And a wife who loves me that gave me these two little joys.

Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. -Henry David Thoreau

I choked up so fast that if it wasn’t for my nerves of steel and eyes that never water I could’ve run us off the road into the ditch. Fine, I got teary-eyed but the road was straight enough to blink it out. But I’m telling you. What a great day. And since I’ve already caught/got what’s most important in my life, it was ok to just go fishing without any catching.

Happy new year. Here’s to a new you, here’s to a new me.

See you on the high ground,
AirborneAngler