Who do you have to thank?

Dad started me fishing when I was about 11. Portland area to start, Eagle Creek in the Gorge, Sandy tribs, then on to Steel in the Trask, Nestucca and finally graduate school on the Deschutes. Bait and hardware, he made rods and spinners; the first "noodle" rods I saw he made from fly rod blanks. I got interested in flyfishing from his stories of a boy in England where his grandfather had a beat on the Nadder, a tributary of the Avon, I believe. I bought a Wright-McGill fly/spin rod then a Fenwick FF857 and never looked back. Took my 1st steelhead on the Nestucca with it and later the Deschutes, SW Washington streams and others.
Moved to Alaska and spent 10 years on the Kenai, 1/2 way 'tween the Kenai and Kasilof rivers. Fished the lakes and streams before, after and sometimes during work. Moving to Central California in 1986, I quit fishing and focused on work for several years, Alaska had spoiled me thoroughly. When "The Movie" came out my oldest daughter was about 12 and said to me "I remember when you used to do that and you'd take me out in the canoe on the lake and I want to learn to flyfish". I set the girls up in the pool and made a vague promise about taking them fishing when they could hit the chlorine floater at the other end, about 38'. Well, they both stuck to it and in about 6 weeks I realized I owed these 2 little girls a trip, but had no clue as to where/when. Luckily, I live about 60 miles from Kings Canyon and Sequioa Nat'l Parks and a call to a local FF store was very generous in detail once I'd explained my predicament. The trip was succesful and to this day both girls flyfish when they can and I am eternally grateful. I reignited steelhead fever after a trip north to the Trinity and have been a hopeless addict since. My grandsons are taking it up and last spring I had the pleasure of watching the oldest (11) hook a chrome "B" run Trinity spring steel that kicked his @$$, but he gets it and is insatiable. Hope to put him and his brother on some in the future and expose them to what has been my addiction and my zen.
There are too many I owe in this sport, my Dad, kind old farts who passed tips along to a boy, Don McLain of Foster's Tackle in PDX who confirmed steel will rise to awaked fly, don't believe the naysayers and too many others that I can't remember names but will never forget their kindness and patience. But most of all my daughters, who reminded me of the pure fun of a beautiful,wild trout and resurrected the joy of fishing in lovely places.
The summer I entered 9th grade, we moved to San Luis Obispo, California. Our house was a few blocks from a lake with mostly small-mouth and some rainbows. Dad never fished but he bought my two younger brothers and I gear and helped (mostly did the work) make a canoe. My brothers and I and assorted neighborhood buddies spent the summers throwing bass plugs.

I didn't fish for years until my oldest grandson was old enough to take fishing, we started up again, mostly on the pond in our neighborhood which has small mouth bass.

I had tried fly fishing a couple of times in the '70s. This fall I saw a fly fishing class was being offered at Skagit Valley College. I am in love!!

zen leecher aka bill w

born to work, forced to fish
My parents started me fishing about age 2 1/2 and I had a place on the dock (with a life jacket on) and a pail to put fish in. They didn't explain "catch and release" to me so there was a number of sunfish and perch in the pail. At one point I had only a gold hook on the line to slow down the catching. I don't think it slowed me down much.

Later about age 8 my uncle introduced me to the mysteries of the dry fly (#12 Light Cahill), fiberglass rods and enameled fly lines.


Active Member
My dad too. Story is to long so here is short version, My dad was a Seattle FF and had lots of days free (24 hr. shifts). He would rent a boat in Ballard, near Ray's Boathouse and take me salmon fishing, so fun, and so damn early in the am too, he was one of those get up two hour before guys :rolleyes:. I get home and fall asleep before dinner and was toast! :eek: He had Sea FF friend and some of the trips they would come up with were awesome and eye opening for me. There was the gold panning/fishing trip in some out no-where wilderness of Canada. They had read about some gold being hit there and thought a small fortune was to be had. :oops: There was a smaller river (panning) and a lake...the trout fishing was so awesome both river and lake. My dad introduced me to the Williamson River of Oregon and my first fly fishing on a glass rod and a click and pawl ;) .....once again nothing here in this state of WA matches those waters. Plenty of Eastern WA trips too. But what I remember the most are all the half-dayers around the greater seattle area (20ish mile radius) of creeks he took me to fish when many were open back then. This was the early-mid 70's....and a lot of these now urban-suburban creeks had some damn nice trout in them back then :) Oh by the way...they found a little bit of gold but I don't think they ever found enough to cover the costs of the trips...kinda like when we went to Reno, NV (my mother had a slight appreciation for slot machines)....Yeah..those were some other trips too w/fishing! :D
Wow, great thread! My Dad started me fishing and taking me along hunting before I was in school so I would guess around 5, I could bait and do basic knots by 7 and fish without any help. Many summers were
Spent in the Methow fishing and camping, it wasn't very far about a hour
From Omak were I grew up and lived for the first 30 yrs of my life.
At 13 I persuaded my Dad to be get starter fly rod and that next Christmas I was given a fly tying kit. I started to catch fish fly fishing and my Family started to notice and started to take up the sport. My Dad
Liked to fish lakes with a woolybugger or leach, and did quire well.
My older brother and I have fished more streams and rivers,
I have stated fishing fly fishing for steelhead about 5 yrs ago
And am very addicted. So I owe it all to my father who passed away about 20 years ago he loved to catch steelhead on the Met how
With gear and was good at it. To finish off my rabbit trail story
That start was 49 years ago Thanks Dad!
Kelly Michelsen
Best thread in a long time

Got to be my Dad, I'm still lucky enough to fish with him. He mainly talks about fishing now and tell fish stories. He taught me to build rods, Cast a fly rod, and tie flies. I am Lucky enough to now be able to fish with him and my son. Im truely blessed.

Not sure but the photo looks like a fish story in progress


Itchy Dog

Some call me Kirk Werner
My dad wasn't (still isn't) much of an outdoorsman; he did occasionally fish a bit, though not with a fly nor with me or my brother. It was my dad's buddy Lloyd Lewis who taught us the way of the fly when we were probably 11/12 years old. Lloyd was one of those obsessed fly fisherman who was involved in some Eastside club at the time, had more gear than was necessary and fished all the time. He and his wife used to bring their camper van down to our family cabin on Hood Canal where he loved to troll in his Fold-a-boat for searun cutts. His wife at the time worked for Eddie Bauer when Eddie Bauer still sold things like fishing gear. Lloyd bought my brother and I each a 7.5 foot,fiberglass Eddie Bauer spin-fly cast rod, Cortland Crown reels, a floating line and an extra spool with a sinking line. I'd probably never have gotten into fly fishing were it not for Lloyd. Unfortunately I cant even remember the last time I saw him. Wish I knew if he were still alive and how to reach him.
My Pops,of course.He started fly fishing when I was a kid and by the time I was 12 or 13,I started joining him on the water.Sadly,I became too cool to do anything with my dad when I got to my mid teens.15 or 16 years later on a camping trip with my folks my dad put a fly rod in my hand"You still remember how to cast?"Ten minutes later I had a fish.My folks saw very little of me for the rest of the camping trip.Two days later the first thing I did when I got home was order myself a combo setup.

Kyle Smith

DBA BozoKlown406
My desire to fish begun when I was about 3, at West Rosebud Lake/Creek in the Beartooth Mountains. I remember my dad baiting my hooks until I was about 6 or 7. I also remember my mom frying the fish I caught, and extended family coming over to eat my fish if I got a big one. Somehow I get the same feeling now when I c&r, but it is still good to keep one every few years to remind myself why I started fishing.

Scott Salzer

previously micro brew
My father introduced me to fishing at a very young age. Of course, having a place on family Mason Lake didn't hurt. Our main quarry was bass, which were there in good numbers and decent size. Mix in ocassional perch or cutthroat and we had many great evenings. One of the best was when he hooked a beaver - interesting story. The lake also holds kokanee, so we had many great breakfasts. Dad was a skinny water guy and we spent many weekends exploring all over the west side. Then, he got into boating and salmon became the target. Spent more days than I can count venturing out form Redondo & Des Moines in search of just about anything we could catch. I especially enjoyed our early Christmas Day outings, which became an annual event. Many days in the San Juans chasing lings, rockfish, greenling.

A lot of gvood memories, unfortunately, not enough tho. He passed as a young man of 57 back in '87.

He gave me the passion and I now carry the torch.

You guys are lucky; my father could have given a rat's ass about teaching me to cast a fly, or anything else for that matter. Nope, I was there to fetch & carry, do all the scut work he could find for me.
I`m with you on that one Alex .

For me the biggest early influence had to be Gadabout Gaddis , The Flying Fisherrman , surely the coolest guy to walk the face of the earth . At least in my eyes . He came across as everything my father was not .

I watched his show every Saturday morning if I had the chance . Sometimes he would use gear , but mostly he used a fly rod - often alone in a boat -fishing for bluegills .
Watching him use that flyrod mesmerized me , and inspired me to spend my entire life savings on a badly mismatched fly outfit . About 40 bucks worth . Walking out of the store with my very own fly rod and reel and line may very well have been the proudest moment in my life .
Of course , I did`nt know how to use it , but that did`nt matter . It was mine . It did`nt help much that I did`nt actually know anybody else who owned a fly rod , and never personally even saw anybody use one until I left home and moved to Alberta . So I struggled with the learning curve.
But would`nt have it any other way .


Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!
My dad and my uncle in Montana... My dad didn't fish a lot, but did get me into the outdoors! We fished, but one of my dad's favorite lines when asked how the fishing was was "The fishing was great, the catching not so great...".

We used to camp and hike a lot, and he and I did some overnight backpacking trips, but only fished a little. My first fish, or at least the first fish I remember was on a camping trip where dad rented a small boat so we could fish. He and I were up early and trolled around for what felt like hours, but probably wasn't that long... I was maybe 6 or 7, so it felt like a long time! Finally we hooked a fish, I reeled it in and we measured it.. it had to be 6" to keep, and it was barely, we pinched the tail and it just made it!

Took it back to camp, and mom asked if I wanted it for breakfast.. of course I did! She cleaned it and pan fried it with a little flour, salt and pepper. I'm just about to take my first bite, and dad asks if he get a bite.. of course I say yes, and then mom and my little sis Sue asks.. sure of course! Now I get my bite or two and feel a little sad I barely got any!

My uncle helped me years later, by getting me to come out to Montana and meet him and my aunt for camping and river rafting all over the place. I had been fishing gear at some of the local lakes, mainly Pine and Beaver, but got bored with the powerbait buffet on the docks and limiting out so quick. Started taking a fly rod out with me, the first one being a hand me down Wright and McGill fiberglass rod that had been my dad's fly rod! He passed away when I was in high school, so I hadn't had a chance to fish with him once we moved back to Washington.

So now I fish his rod, or at least try to on his birthday and Father's day! I've refinished it and put his name on it and also used it the first time I when steelheading with a fly.. I had originally thought it was a 5wt and dragged it out too MT to fish, but it's a 8wt 8' rod.. casts much better with an 8wt line! Go figure!
My brother has said it all, if it wasn't for our dad spending all the time he did. My brother and I wouldn't be where we are, but there were many more who help us out to, at shows, fly shop and just out on a lake or river. I have so many a great memories and always get a new one when my brother gets back to fish with me. Love you Dad, Mom and you brother, as you still find time for you older brother!

Latest posts