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A roundup of news on sporting events, people and places in Southeast Michigan by columnist Jim Evans.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Reflecting on fly fishing and family

I don’t know much about fly fishing.
Really, only what I’ve read in Norman Maclean’s short story “A River Runs Through It.”
Maclean’s story begins with the sentence “In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing.”
Right there, I was hooked.
When I was younger, I did plenty of fishing. It was of the cast and reel variety, though. Sometimes we’d use lures. Sometimes it would be worms. Other times we’d put pieces of hot dogs or bacon on our hooks.
We just liked to be out there on the water. Coffee and doughnuts taste so much better in the morning mist.
I’ve got two sons and two daughters.
The girls never seemed to much care for fishing. Sure they will order fish at a restaurant, but yanking the unfinished product out of the water never appealed to them.
The boys, well, they never got much opportunity. What does that say about dad?
I’ve worked nights for decades.
That is when sports are generally played.
My sons are now 38 and 23 years old. I have probably fished with them twice in their lives. That is a sad, sad statement.
It gives you some indication of my parenting abilities.
Oh, the kids were hardly neglected. When they were younger we’d go to your typical places. We would ride Space Mountain at Disney and stay away from the Great White from Jaws at Universal. We’d swim on the beach in Ludington and do likewise in Muskegon or Grand Haven or the Les Cheneaux Islands where my brother has a cottage.
But you know what, we would never fish and I really don’t know why.
I grew up fishing, but I plead guilty for never passing that affection on.
I recently talked to Terry Drinkwine, who used to write an outstanding outdoors column for this newspaper. He knows plenty about plenty including fly fishing.
I’m going to look Terry up at the 2015 Midwest Fly Fishing Expo that will be held Saturday, March 14, and Sunday, March 15, at Macomb Community College Sports and Expo Center in Warren.
The hours are Saturday, 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, or $15 for a two-day pass. Kids 16 and under are free.
There will be seminars on everything from fly fishing western tailwaters to nymph fishing rivers and streams; from tying better dry flies to fly casting made easy.
Basically, there will be instruction on everything anyone cares to know and believe me, I care to know plenty.
It is not too late to take my boys fishing. I just want to learn how to fly fish.
Drinkwine is on the board of directors of the Michigan Fly Fishing Club. Maybe I had better keep our affiliation quiet. He could be drummed from the board.
I guess this is at least as much about bonding as it is about fishing.
Is there anything wrong with that? The kids are getting older. So is dad.


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