Nearly 30 years ago my parents started teaching my how to fish. At first it was just a plastic toy rod, probably when I was 1 year old and played make-believe fishing next to them. Then they taught me some knots, how to put bait on my hook, how to throw the bait out, how to use a spinning reel. And, then, I caught the fishing bug.
Perhaps they thought it was a little strange a teenager was more interested in fishing than hanging out with friends at the mall, but they supported me in my obsession for fishing. I started teaching myself how to use different types of reels, how to cast lures, and then how to fly-fish. They probably thought I was making fishing more complicated than it needed to be, on our weekend outings I’d carry multiple rods, a tackle box full of shiny objects, then multiple flies I made myself and a myriad of leader formulas. They didn’t question why I was making fishing complicated, but supported my hobby probably thinking those shiny lures were better than drugs.
As most of you know, I’m originally from Brazil. I came to the States when I was 17 years old as an exchange student. I decided to stay here for college, then I met my now wife, Margaret, and made the US my permanent home. I see my parents every couple of years when I go back to Brazil. They had not had a chance to come visit before, having a thousand excuses in the last 13 years I have lived here not to come. Mostly I think they were just terrified of traveling abroad. This year I just told them I got them both tickets and they’d have to visit.
One of the main reasons I wanted them to visit so badly is that, despite all the fishing we’ve done together over the years they have never had a chance to fish my favorite type of waters, cold mountain streams. And, they have never caught my favorite fish, trout. Further, over the last 4 years I have taught thousands of people how to fish with tenkara in these types of waters, but not the people who first taught me how to fish.
Today I was absolutely thrilled to take my parents fishing in my new home-waters of Colorado. And, I put them both onto their first trout ever. It felt so gratifying to take them both fishing, teach them tenkara in my new home and put them in touch with the fish I have been telling them about for so many years. I’m very grateful for everything they have taught me, and for their support as I pursued my passion for fishing. Because of them I have been able to discover tenkara and create Tenkara USA.
p.s. if you have communicated with me in recent days and haven’t heard back from me, it’s mostly because they are visiting. I’ll be trying to catch up with emails….thanks for your patience.