TBT, where it all started.

jasmillo

WFF Supporter
I cannot remember a time when I did not love fishing. Fishing with my dad and grandfather for perch and blue gills with worms and bobbers at the local pond, graduating to live minnows and rooster tails for trout in the Farmington River and everything in between. I grew up in apartments in a more urban area until I was 11 or so. Then my parents completely flipped the switch and bought a little house in a rural part of Connecticut on a brook. Night crawling at night and catching brookies by day was a summer ritual throughout my childhood. I got my first fly rod at about 12 as a present but never really learned how to use it (nobody in my family fly fished). It was a cheap outfit from the local big box store..Caldors or maybe even Woolworths...I cannot remember. What I do recall was not using it much to fish. However, I did use it to set traps for the chickens my parents bought. A little feed on the ground, a snare fashioned out of the fly line and boom, rooster fight (not fish). A flying rooster on a 5 weight is a challenge :).

I did not pick up a fly rod seriously until college in the late 90’s. My current father in law (girlfriends father at the time) helped move us to Montana for school. I knew I would fish and brought some rods including the cheap fly rod. He had fly fished a bit so we decided to go a couple of mornings as we were getting settled (Missoula). One morning we ended up on a stretch of the Bitterroot river in late August after a heavy trico hatch. Big rainbows were rising everywhere and I had no idea how to catch them. Without catching a fish I was hooked though. Those first few weeks I spent probably 60+ hours learning to cast, hook and land trout on size 18 flies and 5 or 6x tippet. So frustrating but incredibly exciting. I was completely hooked and have not looked back since. Now I’ll chase anything I get an opportunity for with a fly. I do a lot of other things but this has become my only serious hobby. I cannot explain why but I love it.
 

Roper

Idiot Savant
WFF Supporter
I cannot remember a time when I did not love fishing. Fishing with my dad and grandfather for perch and blue gills with worms and bobbers at the local pond, graduating to live minnows and rooster tails for trout in the Farmington River and everything in between. I grew up in apartments in a more urban area until I was 11 or so. Then my parents completely flipped the switch and bought a little house in a rural part of Connecticut on a brook. Night crawling at night and catching brookies by day was a summer ritual throughout my childhood. I got my first fly rod at about 12 as a present but never really learned how to use it (nobody in my family fly fished). It was a cheap outfit from the local big box store..Caldors or maybe even Woolworths...I cannot remember. What I do recall was not using it much to fish. However, I did use it to set traps for the chickens my parents bought. A little feed on the ground, a snare fashioned out of the fly line and boom, rooster fight (not fish). A flying rooster on a 5 weight is a challenge :).

I did not pick up a fly rod seriously until college in the late 90’s. My current father in law (girlfriends father at the time) helped move us to Montana for school. I knew I would fish and brought some rods including the cheap fly rod. He had fly fished a bit so we decided to go a couple of mornings as we were getting settled (Missoula). One morning we ended up on a stretch of the Bitterroot river in late August after a heavy trico hatch. Big rainbows were rising everywhere and I had no idea how to catch them. Without catching a fish I was hooked though. Those first few weeks I spent probably 60+ hours learning to cast, hook and land trout on size 18 flies and 5 or 6x tippet. So frustrating but incredibly exciting. I was completely hooked and have not looked back since. Now I’ll chase anything I get an opportunity for with a fly. I do a lot of other things but this has become my only serious hobby. I cannot explain why but I love it.
Great story, thanks for sharing...
 

Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
I think Dad put a bamboo rod in my crib when I was wee little. Mom, Dad, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins - most everybody fished. I recall many fond memories in the upper Big Hole where Grayling & willing Brookies were in abundance. My first "big" fish, A Rainbow came from an irrigation reservoir. Mom & Dad would fish it at night - big 'Bows & some monster Bull Trout; it was streamer fishing at its finest. Dad had outfitted me with an automatic fly reel and oversized, hand-me-down hip boots complete with leaks. I finally hooked a good fish, tripped the retrieve lever & heard the spring unwind. Dad said I turned around, put the rod back over my shoulder and scrambled up the terraced steps created by the irrigation draw-down, followed by a dandy, flopping Rainbow. Thankfully, I graduated to a Pflueger Medalist and improved my fish handling techniques, but from that point on I was "hooked." SW Montana was a spectacular place to grow up and I was truly blessed to have been born into a fly fishing family plumb full of willing mentors. I eventually assumed the position of family fly tyer a few years later (and still tie for several of my Nephews today.). It's been a great ride!
 

flybill

A collector never stops collecting!
I started fishing with my dad when I was little, don't recall exactly my age, but 7 or 8. We didn't fish often, but did camp, hike and even has a pop up trailer for a bit in my early teens. Towed it with our yellow boxy Volvo!

Two fishing trips I remember, I will share.

My dad rented a little aluminum boat, and he and I would go out and just troll slowly. My dad instilled the love of the outdoors and sports, but probably only fished because I wanted too.

On the second day, my dad and I woke up early, left mom and my sister Sue sleeping as we quietly when out to get some fish for us! We trolled for quite a while, with nothing to show, but like many trips when we were about to go back in and see what was going on in camp, we got a hit! He let me fight it and I can only imagine the smile on my face and his, no pictures, we were fishing!

I actually don't recall the lake, but we landed the "monster"! Dad netted and brought it in! It was small, and he knew it but measured 6" on the ruler on the tackle box we had. It was barely 6" and he might have even pinched the tail a bit because he knew having to release it would have disappointed me! I miss him, his name was Bill as well and he long passed.

Dad and I head back to camp! As we come up we see my mother, Nancy, is up and making coffee and getting breakfast started for the family. We hit the beach, and I probably jumped out of the boat, life jack on, as dad made sure the boat wouldn't float away! I get the "monster" bow and run up to mom and show her our amazing catch!

Mom is excited for us, and ask if I want to eat the fish for breakfast! Of course, eat what you hunt, or just hell ya! Of course she cleans it for me, cuts off the head and knows what to do. I watch with excitement and so does my sister. Mom has the cast iron frying pan ready to go, dredges the trout in flour, salt and pepper and with a little oil or butter in the pan fries it up for me. Breakfast of eggs or something is ready as well and dad has his coffee and is watching with only the joy that a parent can experience of seeing my excitement!

We all sit down at the picnic table, food is served and mom brings the trout over on a metal camping plate and puts it down in front of me! I probably looked like Ralphy from A Christmas Story when he get's his Red Rider BB gun!

I go to take my first bite, with everyone watching, and mom asks if she gets a bite? Then my sister wants one too and not to be left out dad asks if he gets one. I pause for just a few seconds, and don't want to share but know that I'm going too. Of course, yes everyone take a bite. I finally get to take my first bite and it's amazing! We caught it, mom cooked it up and it's the best thing I've ever eaten! Then my sister takes a fork full, followed by small bites from mom and dad!

I look down, take my next bite, maybe one more and it's gone! I want more of course, but realize that's it and we'll just have to fish some more and get more fish now that we know what we're doing! After breakfast and cleanup (mom did it of course) dad and go back out and I'm ready to catch Moby Dick or at least enough trout that I get my own for lunch or worst case dinner.

You know the rest of the story, we don't catch another fish, and that's fine, it's called fishing, not catching! I'm hooked.

--------------------------------------------------------

I never fished a lot, but it became a part of our camping, when we were by a lake or river. Almost exclusively on our camping trips, not much otherwise, my parents were busy raising us, my dad an aeronautical engineer at Boeing and eventually customer service which took us to Riverdale, GA and Kaneohe, HI.

In GA we had a little creek behind our house that I would hunt crawdads, while mom worried about snakes, water moccasins! Our cat, Taffy would kill stuff and leave it at the back door or front door. Except for the time she brought the half dead garter snake in and gave it too us! You can only imagine the screams of mom and sis, and probably me too as we tried to get it out of the house and from under the couch!

In Hawaii we once saw a big tail of a marlin hanging out of the back of a little Datsun truck and the sword over the top of it! I want to see it, so get dad to follow it and they stop somewhere along the way and I get to SEE this fish in person!

------------------------------------------------------------

We moved back to the Seattle area, in a rented house in Bellevue in 1980 with horses across the street and then to Issaquah in 1981. My dad was sick, and Boeing moved us back and bought our condo in Hawaii to make it easy on us. Probably used it for employees that needed a place to stay for extended stay or sold it...

Even while dad was sick, we camped a little and they bought a popup trailer so we could all sleep more comfortably, although I think it was really for him and mom so we didn't have to deal with setting up tents and sleeping on the ground! Plus the kitchen was always set up and it just made things easier!

My last fishing trip with dad was in Oregon, near Crater Lake, and we had rented another boat! We caught trout, big trout and limited out and almost everyone who fished did! After mom cleaned two or three and prepared them we sat down to eat! Victorious!

We all took a bite and it tasted like eating mud off of the bottom of the lake.. that was our one and only one bite.. we had too throw it all away. I was sad but knew that's life and there were more important things coming up. Mainly my dad was sick, my mom was restarting her nursing career and my sister and I were making new friends at our new schools.

Years later, after college, dropping out of college, working and playing lots of golf I was laid off in 1998. To save money, I decided to buy a fishing license and fished Pine and Beaver lake. Mostly Pine and after a bit of time figured out how to limit out on the stockers pretty quick! I started going out to MT, dragging my fishing gear, an old Wright & McGill 8' 8 wt that I thought was a 5wt. Lessons at Creekside Angling, on fly fishing, fly fishing for sea run cutthroat trout and fly tying got me going and I would fish locally or out in MT on river rafting trips out there.

Fast forward in 2003 I find WFF.com and around then All About the Fly! I start fishing with Ron Torda, Brian Paige, Bhudda, Yard (sometimes) and @Old Man Jim! Many others, lots of events like the Hoh Downs, AEG parties, the Cowlips trip and many others!

Now I have over 20 rods, and too many reels and lines to worry about. I had a few years of fishing over 150 days per year and spent time with the guys above on the Sky, Snoqualmie and Yakima doing 100's of floats and learning so much.

Check out my gallery for some pictures if you want. Peace Roper and others! You're in there too. Roper, Ive and our trip out to your property and the lakes out there is a highlight of my lake fishing and I learned so much! I will get out there again when the time is right!

FlyBill
 

Hem

Active Member
I cannot remember a time when I did not love fishing. Fishing with my dad and grandfather for perch and blue gills with worms and bobbers at the local pond, graduating to live minnows and rooster tails for trout in the Farmington River and everything in between. I grew up in apartments in a more urban area until I was 11 or so. Then my parents completely flipped the switch and bought a little house in a rural part of Connecticut on a brook. Night crawling at night and catching brookies by day was a summer ritual throughout my childhood. I got my first fly rod at about 12 as a present but never really learned how to use it (nobody in my family fly fished). It was a cheap outfit from the local big box store..Caldors or maybe even Woolworths...I cannot remember. What I do recall was not using it much to fish. However, I did use it to set traps for the chickens my parents bought. A little feed on the ground, a snare fashioned out of the fly line and boom, rooster fight (not fish). A flying rooster on a 5 weight is a challenge :).

I did not pick up a fly rod seriously until college in the late 90’s. My current father in law (girlfriends father at the time) helped move us to Montana for school. I knew I would fish and brought some rods including the cheap fly rod. He had fly fished a bit so we decided to go a couple of mornings as we were getting settled (Missoula). One morning we ended up on a stretch of the Bitterroot river in late August after a heavy trico hatch. Big rainbows were rising everywhere and I had no idea how to catch them. Without catching a fish I was hooked though. Those first few weeks I spent probably 60+ hours learning to cast, hook and land trout on size 18 flies and 5 or 6x tippet. So frustrating but incredibly exciting. I was completely hooked and have not looked back since. Now I’ll chase anything I get an opportunity for with a fly. I do a lot of other things but this has become my only serious hobby. I cannot explain why but I love it.
Alot of similarities.
Nightcrawling...man...it was a ritual.
I fine tuned the art.
BUT a pail of dead nightcrawlers rivals about anything for gag factor.
 

jasmillo

WFF Supporter
Alot of similarities.
Nightcrawling...man...it was a ritual.
I fine tuned the art.
BUT a pail of dead nightcrawlers rivals about anything for gag factor.

One of the first times my wife got in a car I owned, I had a bucket of dead minnows in the back behind her seat and it was July. She laughed it off at the time but she still talks about the smell on occasion. Ha, I guess it was just one of the signs she was a keeper.
 

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