On The Fly: Passing the torch | AspenTimes.com

On The Fly: Passing the torch

Kirk Webb
On The Fly

While growing up in a large Catholic household, my father would work long hours, often away from home, leaving my mother to raise two strong-headed boys and four stubborn girls. As I would find out later in life while raising my own daughter, being a parent is truly the most difficult and rewarding job in existence. Despite my father’s inability and lack of time to enjoy the outdoors with me, he did introduce me to fly-fishing and continued to nurture my passion of water, fish and wildlife, which is a gift that I am forever truly thankful for. My mother was always too busy wrangling kids, cooking and cleaning to enjoy fly-fishing with me, but her love of the outdoors, wildflowers, dirt roads and small towns was always made apparent to me. Somehow, she always made time to take me fishing in her busy motherly schedule. You never stop being a mother (or father), even when your kids finally fly the coop. Time has finally allowed my mother to road trip again, and she recently texted me a picture of her in Iowa hanging out with Mike, Frank and Danni from the popular TV show “American Pickers.” It’s exciting for me to see my mother doing what she loves after all these years of raising children. Well deserved!

One of the benefits of working in a fly shop is that I get to teach (um, I mean corrupt) children into the wonderful world of fly-fishing. Recently I was asked by seven-year-old Jack Dobbs, “What’s the best part of fly-fishing?” I didn’t have to wait long to reply. I simply told Jack that fly-fishing is a sport where you never plateau. You continue to learn every day that you’re out there on the water. It’s one of the few sports that you can continue to pursue until the very day that you die.

I try to not only pass the torch to children, but to anyone who shows a sincere passion for the sport. Perhaps the easiest way to do this is through my very own excitement and willingness to teach. In fact, my days off this summer have been filled with teaching newfound friends how to fish for trout and carp. I don’t just teach anyone, only those that are willing to put in the time and effort to really learn. I really can tell in speaking to my new friends if they have that “it” factor, where I just know that they’re in this sport for the long haul, and I get more excited than my pupils when I see them succeed. Heartfelt thanks goes out to Jake, Michael, Brian, Gus, Shannon and Grant for allowing me to spend so much quality time fishing with them and allowing us to all learn from each other. Remember, there’s more to fishing than just catching fish!

“On the Fly” is provided weekly by the staff at Taylor Creek Fly Shop in Basalt.

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