One of the keys and success than any activity is “paying it forward.” It doesn’t matter whether it’s work, family, or recreation, if others aren’t interested in it then your interest is likely to wither and die as well. If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you will know that I have actively encouraged my grandchildren, particularly my two granddaughters that live here in Minnesota, to experience the outdoors since they were about four years old. (They’re both teenagers now.) Both Sophie and Natasha love camping, bicycling and fishing. And they love spending time with Ellen and myself. These are precious times because in a couple of years, Natasha will be headed off to college and Sophie won’t be that far behind. They serve one other very valuable purpose, and that both girls have and use cell phones as a means of communication. So Saturday of our excursions is always a “Disconnect Day,” often aided by the fact that we tend to camp in the "backcountry," areas with little to no cell service.
Earlier this summer, after enduring a difficult spring of medical issues for both of us, I signed my wife, Ellen, up for an “Introduction to Fly Fishing” class at the National Trout Center in Preston, Minnesota. She loved it! Ellen’s father, Harry, was a big-time sportsman, hunter and angler, who consistently pulled the largest bass each season out of the lake he lived on in east Texas. But that didn’t translate into making his third daughter into a fisherperson. Flyfishing gave her a release from the stress of work and cancer recovery that she has found to be relaxing and enjoyable. By the end of the season, we had taken several trips to both the Driftless Region of southeastern Minnesota and the Arrowhead Region in the northeastern part of the state. We didn’t catch much of anything, but it was relaxing, enjoyable, and fun.
Clay Croft of Expedition Overland did an excellent vlog entry a few years ago about passing on positive outdoor experiences, including flyfishing, to your children. He finishes it with this comment, which I have quoted on numerous occasions: “It’s a good thing when you pass on classic things, and if you do that well, someday you might become…legendary. What you can do, is choose to be inspired, and adventure will find you.” I couldn’t agree more.