Learning from Family and Friends

When I was a kid, shoot, I was maybe 12 or 13 years old or so, I went bass fishing with a buddy.  He knew of this pond that was chock a block with fish, and good  ones, too.  One Saturday we tied our rods to our bike frames with kite string, tossed some gear including a small trout net into our backpacks and peddled off into the  day.

We started catching perch and panfish immediately and when I hooked a great largemouth (it was about 4-5 pounds, huge by my teenage standards), my buddy  grabbed the net.  I pulled the fish to him, it was at his feet, and it turned to swim away.  My pal took that net and went after him, and scooped it by the tail.  Half of  the fish was in the bag, the other half was on the rim.  One flip of the tail and the fish rocketed out of the net and into the air and broke the line.  I’d have swatted  him but I could tell he felt far worse than me.  The next time we fished together we both made sure to net fish head-first.

That’s one of my favorite parts of learning from family and friends.  Some of it is instructional, like learning to cast, to tie knots, or learning how to rig.  A mentor fast tracks our learning process by leaps and bounds, so when we get to the water we know how to find fish, what approach to take, and what to do along the way.  The fun part comes when we take that knowledge and apply it ourselves.  When we do, the result is my pal trying to land a fish tail-first, and it’s a memory we joke about even to this day.

This season, spend some time learning something from a family member or a friend.  If you know more than they do then teach them something.  Sharing our experience is part of what makes fishing fun, and the more we do the more fun we have.

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Tom Keer

Tom Keer

Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program.  Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.  When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters.  His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011.  Visit him at www.tomkeer.com or at www.thekeergroup.com.