It may betray my manhood to use this description, but the water in the small pond I took my son to fish was the color of an iced latte after all the ice has melted. If you’re unfamiliar with this particular concept, think a milky-brown that you’re not sure if you can see into, that is until there’s actually something to see. In the case of the pond, a small bluegill hovering three or four inches below your little bumblebee colored popper. In the case of the old iced latte, a dead fly or an actual bumblebee.
Other than the hue of the water, the day seemed to be perfect for a quick outing with my little up and coming fly fisherman. The temperature was in the high seventies, very little wind, sunny, the insects were out but not the biting ones; like I said, just a great day to let a kid catch a few little fish on the fly to help that fishing bug embed itself a little deeper.
So I strung-up his rod, tied on a little popper, gave him a few bits of instruction and let him go.
He piled his first couple of cast but after reminding him to slow down and where he should stop the rod on his backcast, he got into his rhythm. I stood back beaming like the proud father I was as I admired my child casting with a grace that put many an older more experienced caster to shame.
Then the fish hit. It wasn’t big and it hooked itself, but my son, who obviously was born to be a fly fisherman, deftly landed it like he’d been catching fish on the fly all his life. I unhooked it for him and handed it over for a quick pic.
“So, what did you think about that bubba?” (In my world all male children are bubba, buddy or boudro.)
This is what I heard next, “That was fun.” Short pause, “I want to start fishing with Bob.”
Still smiling but a bit unsure I asked, “Bob who?”
“No, not Bob,” he laughed as a dark cold feeling started to gather along my spine. “A bobber. I want to start fishing with worms and a bobber. I think it’d be more fun. Look a butterfly! I’m going to catch it!” He dropped his fly rod to the ground and ran off in pursuit.