For the past two years I have been a snob. I have turned my nose up at the prospect of spin fishing. I havenít looked down on others that were spin fishing, just myself. This snobbery is self-induced, but thankfully it is now over.
The lack of time I've spent spin fishing for the past two years has only to do with one thing Ė knowledge. I wanted to get better at fly fishing and I thought the only way to do that was to put away the spinning gear. I fish high altitude lakes a lot and on a windy day it is too easy to push the long stick aside, pick up a Kastmaster or a tube jig, and toss it into the wind.
I didnít want that to become a crutch so I vowed to fly fish exclusively, become more skilled at lake fishing and to become better at nymph fishing as well. Itís been a good two years and I feel that I have learned a lot and have probably moved up the ladder a bit Ė maybe one step above being mediocre.
My reason for pulling the spinning rod out of storage was a good one Ė my three-year-old son. He, of course, sees daddy going out to fish for the day and of course wants to come with me. He has played around with the butt section of an old fly rod with some line on it, but has never fished or done any casting.
So I went ahead and invested in a kid's Zebco rod, picked him up from daycare and headed out to a lake across the street from where I live. We have visited this lake and park numerous times, but I had never fished it. I know from searching on here that the lake used to have huge bass in it but has since been fished out and probably has slim pickings at this point. I also read that just a couple of weeks prior to that day, they had stocked the lake with rainbow trout. Armed with this info, we headed to the pier to give it a shot.
I rigged up my sonís pole with a hook and bobber and threw some powerbait on the hook. I wasnít expecting him to catch anything, and figured he would just want to cast and reel, cast and reel, and thatís just what he did. But, to my surprise, he was a natural! Talk about a proud father, I couldnít believe that almost immediately, he was pressing and releasing the little button and casting the line out pretty far from the dock. I was impressed, to say the least.
After he had gotten the hang of things, it was my turn to put some line in the water. I tied on my lure and zinged it out as far as I could. Twitched the rod once and Yahtzee Ė fish on! A largemouth jumped out of the water and the lure came out with it. Oh well, first cast and getting some action was a good sign.
A few minutes later, the same thing happened. Then, another few minutes later, I got a bite and this time he didn't come off. But he wasn't jumping at all as I reeled him in with my rod almost bent in half. I was wondering what kind of fish he could be when I finally got him close enough to realize that it was a rainbow trout, and definitely not one of the stocker rainbows, this one was almost 24Ē and was the circumference of a football! I was in shock and couldnít believe it. I wondered why I hadnít tried to fish this lake sooner.
After all that happened during the hour and fifteen minutes we spent there, I realized that I donít care what type of fishing I'm doing, I just enjoy being outdoors and catching. But sharing this experience with my three-year-old was an even greater thrill.
So the next time you spin fishermen see a fly fishermen, donít automatically assume he is a snob. And you fly fishermen - don't turn up your nose at the idea of spin fishing, because in the end we are the same. We are outside doing what we love to do and enjoying every minute of it, whether itís using the long or short stick, WE fish.
A short video of my sonís first day casting:
A couple days of fishing:
Jon grew up in the country outside of Buffalo, NY and started fishing at an early age with his uncle and cousins on Lake Erie. After moving to North Carolina, he developed a knack for bass fishing. A good friend gave Jon his first fly fishing setup when he moved to Colorado nine years ago and he has been fly fishing ever since. Jon works full time in the digital graphics field and does as much hiking, fly fishing and snowboarding as possible. Jon currently lives in Littleton, CO with his wife Karen and three-year old son Brennon.
jamesavp, ND 5/9/2012 9:40:44 PM
Nice post! I have a 4year old and he caught a rainbow at 24 inches around 5lbs by himself. I was so proud and I was shaking harder than when I caught my first big fish. lol. I thought that felling was gone forever. guess not. Your post made me think of him. what fun it will be to teach our youngens.
Atompunk, CO 5/9/2012 10:16:41 PM
Awesome post! I have my first child on the way so have been spending as much time fishing as possible before all my time is taken up with the baby. I can't wait to share my love of the outdoors and fishing with my child.
willsanddeals, CO 5/9/2012 11:02:44 PM
Great post. I have a 4yr old nephew and he and I are super close. I am taking him on his first fishing adventure this weekend. I already purchased him a "cars" button caster and have it all rigged and ready to go. I am going to take him to the locally stocked city park pond and hopefully he will get the thrill of catching his first fish. No matter what happens we will have a great time together outdoors and thats all that matters.
Catman1979, CO 5/10/2012 3:09:54 AM
Your kiddo is a pro man, all I gotta say about that. Not to mention that he caught a stick! he is already learning the ropes, and all the thanks go to dad.
Coyute, CO 5/10/2012 6:54:07 AM
Jonathan Hill (jfred17), CO 5/10/2012 11:10:05 AM
Thanks guys! It's a ton of fun getting him out there. Of course after a while he wants to just start throwing rocks and sticks in the water, haha.
@jamesavp - That's a huge rainbow for a 4 year old! How awesome that must have been!
@wilsanddeals - My son loves the cars movies but all they had was spiderman unfortunately, good thing he also likes spiderman, ha.
tbblom, CO 5/10/2012 11:43:40 AM
I too have left the spin rod to get better at fly fishing.
but last night at boulder res, the spin rod would have been nice.
I've got an Abu garcia somewhere and a bunch of old rooster tails
MIght have to dig it out and repair that broken tip.
droolr, CO 5/10/2012 2:40:17 PM
Fly rod snobs and bait chunkers ?
River_FlyFisher, CO 5/10/2012 3:19:45 PM
Great article! I grew up spin fishing, then spent a good majority of 15 years nearly exclusively fly-fishing. In the last few years I have been doing more spin fishing agin since I moved back to Colorado. Personally, I no longer care HOW I catch fish, just as long as I am catching them.
Pretty cool about your son! It is always fun taking the kids out, even more so for them when they're actually catching something.
I have taken mine to that same EXACT spot a few times last year, without any luck. Yes, the lake did used to be a Bass factory, especially back when it wasn't so well known it was down there in that hole. Unfortunately development of that area hasn't helped. However, I personally did not realize they stocked Trout there I will certainly be watching for that in the future so I can take the kids (I live about 5 minutes from there).
What I really can't believe is that you got a 2' rainbow at THAT lake!!! WOW!!! I wonder if DOW put some of their brood stock in when they stocked it??? Fantastic!
Jonathan Hill (jfred17), CO 5/10/2012 4:02:35 PM
@River - I think they stock it once a year with the stockers. And I could hardly believe the 24" myself! It was crazy. And the couple bass that I had come off seemed decent too. When you see a guy with a fly rod and a spinning rod out there, it'll be me so say hello.
coloradonative, CO 5/11/2012 2:58:38 PM
Little man is going to rip allot of lips!
d2roberts, CO 5/15/2012 5:36:21 PM
See, if you liked Country music you would know there's a whole song about teaching and bringing your kids fishing. It's called Just Fishin'. :-) Great article - glad to see I may be cut some slack for using my spin rod.