Family Fishing – Does It Get Better Than This ?

One of our members David James Bendle decided to do a short write up about the reasons why he takes his daughter (now aged 4) fishing with him, and how fishing is a great ying to the yang of life. Davids blog is also a great read – take a look here

No more words necessary from me…. read on and click on the pictures to see full size images..

David and Emily

It’s been 2 years since Emily started coming fishing with me proper, something i only got back into myself the year before, no longer seeing my dad due to problems in my family that were irreversible in resolving it was both the memories we created together and the understanding of why he took me that i wanted to get back into it and ultimately take Emily. It is a brilliant sport to keep your mental health in check, it allows you to enjoy things you would never see too numerous and small that too some it would seem like nothing but to those in the know it’d mean everything.

And despite it being a lot easier and safer not taking my daughter having been taught from the age of 3 myself, i knew she wouldn’t be too young. I still remember the year it took me to catch my first fish, as my dad let me run riot round the lake chasing perch that i could see. Crying after letting a pike he caught go because i wanted to hold it for ever. My dad never really got into the environmentalist side of things, he fished on his own or with me and non of his mates fished. Like myself growing up it was something i did on my own, i managed to convince my best mate of now 25 years to come and he fell asleep against a tree and fell in. He still won’t come a second time.

I started Emily off just observing, teaching her about what to do and how to look after the fish, being a fly fisherman on the river you do get right into the nitty gritty, we would bug hunt to see what lived there and it’d be proper wellington boots situations. Still end up with a wet arse from a slippy rock, so i always took spare clothes for her after that. As she learned how to use a reel and rod and how to fight a fish, then came the introduction of holding them, stroking them at first she opted for, then after rejecting my offer to hold it i would let it go. The tears would flow just like mine did as a child. Catch another she would say. She got a knack of naming the fish, big bad barry and the Trolls characters.

Strangely even though i would fish for less time and less distance i would break my PB 3 times in her presence she was turning into a good omen, i mean United haven’t won the league since she was born. But as she grew older i have her more responsibility, i kept her on simple nymphing methods in easy to fish pools and if she lost a fish she would lose it. It happens, i would guide her but not physically. The fish she caught would get bigger and bigger in fact a lot quicker than mine did in my first years fly fishing.

Aside from the fishing our chats would be very intuitive, she would ask me questions about why the rivers are brown, how is plastic made, why people throw ‘garbage’ (thanks ryanstoyreview) into the river, all manner of questions that i never thought she’d care about. She knows about trees, flowers and most definitely hogweed, nettles and brambles. She knows about the birds, the fish and the bugs. She knows how to build campfires and small shelters. But most of all she knows what it is like to be away from everything. We can find a place of solitude miles from the city centres or literally in them, the real wilds of the country going by unnoticed and i hope should she, when shes older, ever need to just get away from it all, she now knows places to go.

The sound of the river flowing past, a dipper or a wagtail on a boulder opposite, a ripple breaking the surface as a trout takes an olive off the top. The laughter and chatter of a father and daughter enjoying themselves as they have a small dinner at the riverside.

 

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