By Bill Monroe
In a career of writing about the outdoors, one question crossed my eardrums more than any other, including complaints about “wish it were the old days.”
Pay close attention now, because your hosts on this Web site are about to lead you to that yellow brick road. Then you can pass it along along to neighbors, friends and family.
The question was most often – not nearly always, however – from a mother; many times from a father and even from grandparents:
“My kids (or grandkids, friends, girlfriend, siblings, etc.) want to go fishing, but I don’t know anything about fishing. What can I do?”
(I’m not asked as much in the new age of social media. Possibly because almost anyone these days can go online and learn at least something. More likely, unfortunately, is the probability their attention has been hijacked by video games.)
Still, I get the question often enough to resurrect the old Chinese proverb by Lao Tzu: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
How about “teach a parent to fish and those kids will not only love you forever, they may develop into responsible, environmentally aware adults.”
Bob Rees is about to do just that…and WITH the help of the Internet.
Starting Feb. 15th, TGF will present a five-week basic course of fishing 101.
For $25 (that’s only $5/week), gather as many of the family as you can around a desktop screen (or yourself and someone watching a smartphone) and learn the basics of trout, salmon and steelhead fishing.
Mostly trout, which in Oregon is a major gateway fish to all other angling.
The course coincides, in fact, with the popular winter trout stocking program of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife beginning Jan. 10 in a waterway near you.
Did you know it’s possible to fish in Oregon 365 days a year with a reasonable expectation of getting a bite from something?
True. And it begins with trout. All year.
As Rees points out, we all began with “not-so-challenging” fish and eventually moved on to bigger and better things. But no one forgets that first time something wiggled at the other end of the rod.
My father was career Navy and stationed at Tongue Point when I recall my earliest fish, a trout I proudly took home and used to interrupt my mother’s bridge club meeting.
Rees is collecting experts to present the basics in this five-week webinar series:
Week 1 – What can I catch, what does it look like, what do I use and where can I go?
Week 2 – Regulations, trout opportunities and run timing for salmon and steelhead.
Week 3 – Rods and reels and different riggings for different fish.
Week 4 – Getting the most out of a fishing trip, preparation and what to do after catching something.
Week 5 – Planning the next trip, resources (there are tons) and a detailed Q-A with pros.
The classes will begin each Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
As many can watch and learn as you’d like and will be recorded attendees will have indefinite access to the classes through TGF.
Lao Tzu’s prophecy and lesson holds as true today as ever, even in this day and age of cyber angling.
Or, as Bob Rees puts it, “Just as we’ve taught the avid angler to catch more fish, help us reach the next generation of anglers so they, too, can understand why we do the things we do.”