Were does that passion for fishing come from? Often it starts at a young age as we observed a mentor usually being a parent wanting to share the joys they have experienced from their own past adventures. They were concerned that we enjoyed the outing and whether it was catching a bull head or just exploring the outdoors that was all that was need to create the spark.
The competition between siblings was contagious. They all wanted dad to know who caught the most. None complained about getting dirty. You knew they had found the spark.
As technology advanced we had more exposure to the outdoors with fishing shows displaying their exploits and wonders in that magic box we call television. As the exposure increased the spark within them started to become a flame. From camping, fishing, hunting and hiking all those adventure took us to the unknown. The children started to have a thirst for adventure that needed to be quenched and a drive to discover and explore.
Whether it was a hiking trail in a park or a little pond in the city. Getting out, as a child was an adventure in what they thought was the great wild.
As younglings we had no choice but to grow up and some would lose the spark while others hung on to it. Many would continue the adventure to enjoy the outdoors and what nature could offer us. The distractions of growing up sometimes caused a split in the road but eventually they found there way back to what created the spark. Some would be quicker than others.
What helped me find my way back was the pure love for the sport we call fishing that a stranger helped me rediscover in myself as a mentor and all the reward that mentoring achieves. It was the smile on the child's face that brought memories back from my own beginnings. It was the newbie who's never ending story about his adventure with me he wanted to share with everybody. Creating that spark in someone else and showing them how to nurture it was rewarding in itself.
When I took my 21-year-old daughter out fishing to catch her first coho salmon she told me she would be serious and focused when she caught one. Well that didn't happen. She screamed like the little girl dad always sees in her. We laughed so hard. She was screaming, I was screaming offering guidance. There was no way she wanted my help as she was going to land the salmon on her own terms. When she did I new that spark that had dimmed through growing up had ignited again. She didn't care about how dirty or slimy the salmon was. She held it close to her for the trophy shot.
I am so happy to have been the catalyst that ignited the spark in others, for all those that have the passion and the love for the sport we call fishing.
It's never to late become a mentor.