There are several things that led me to spend a large part of my working life doing what I choose to do. This is one of those things.
Originally Posted by swhite1989
I didnt have fly fishing, but I did get to take a fishing class in place of PE Classes. It was meant for people with no knowledge of fishing, but its always nice to go back to the basics. Also, there were plenty of good looking girls in the class!
We had an Introduction to Sport Fishing class in high school too. In my sophomore year, water polo was the only other PE class being offered between football and baseball seasons and the coaches of those sports didn’t want their players in the pool.
So during the late periods of the day, many of the jocks signed up for the fishing class. At the time, my best friend / fishing partner and I were pretty sure of a couple of things, as teenagers often are. One, we could probably teach the fishing class and two, we were going to be bored beyond belief. But the coach that was teaching the class kept it lively and it’s in that class that the light went on. You really can pursue this “ fishing thing” as a business. It was pretty obvious from those old films that coach played for us, that Tom Mann was doing it and Gowdy was making at least enough to keep that hat blocked.
Fast forward a decade. One afternoon the phone gets passed to me at our fly shop with the quip that coach something or other would like to talk to you. Turns out he’d been watching a ball game on Fox and spotted us in one of our commercials. That was one of those payback moments you get to be part of, every so often in life. Coach was beaming. He had no idea that any of us had even stuck with fishing, let alone followed it as a career path.
Back then we’d spend the late winter and early spring exhibiting at most of the sportsmen and boat shows in the region. It’s at the show nearest him that we finally got to see each other again. For each of the years that he had left, coach had an exhibitors badge waiting for him at the will call window of his local show and a chair in our booth. He was our greatest cheerleader and at times our most honest and trusted critic.
If you get the chance to teach in life, please do so. You never where those lessons can lead or the lives you can better.
BTW, Joe Humphrey of Penn State is another fly fishing hero. He took the time to correspond with me when I was a youngster ( back when we hand wrote letters and mailed them ), even though I lived on the opposite coast. An excellent ambassador of fly fishing.