Now that summer is starting to swing towards autumn, it is a great time to get out with the family to fish. The high water is subsiding and bugs are out more than ever. Many years ago, I went on a trip with my family. It would have been in my teen years. I had yet to have a fly rod grace my hands. Little did I know that I was laying the ground work for what would one day become a life long obsession.
In the beautiful Boulder Mountains of Southern Utah, my grandpa and I fished a little stream no more than three feet wide. The bank grass was tall and the banks had deep undercuts, allowing the fish to hold as to avoid danger. My grandpa being a worm fisher for most his life naturally had a styrofoam container tucked in his tackle box. I had a jar of red salmon eggs. The thing was, the grasshoppers were out by the thousands. Walking to the tall grass they would criss cross in front of us, many times landing on us.
My grandpa was the first to show me. He took off his hat and swatted one off a nearby stock of grass to stun it. Soon it was run through with a hook and plopped into the water and to the unsuspecting fish. The bite was instantaneous. Out came a small Brook Trout that had just been lying in wait for lunch to arrive. Like all impressionable kids, I thought my grandpa was a fishing god. He never ceased to find the right bait, for the right situation to catch the most fish. I had soon caught my own grasshopper and he showed me how to hook it so it wouldn’t come loose. This was also where I learned that grasshoppers were tobacco chewers as it spat a gob on my fingers when I held it. Filthy habit. But my grandpa simply laughed, proceeded to swipe the back of his hand across his face saying, “I can’t help it!”, in reference to an old friend of his that was known for his spit and chew routine. I soon learned that filthy habits or not, grasshoppers caught fish. That was probably my first real attempt at fly fishing. We spent the day fishing, my grandpa reeling them in as fast as he could, and me, I just tried my best to keep up. It didn’t work. As I said…fishing god.
Had i not gone fishing that day I may never have learned to use a live grasshopper for many years to come. My point is, take your kids out, your family, your friends. Share with them what your passionate about. It doesn’t have to be fishing, but it couldn’t hurt. Sometimes a little thing, like fishing with a grasshopper on a small Boulder Mountain stream, can have a much larger effect thatn you could ever imagine.