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 At the beginning to all of my fishing stories is the story of receiving  my first fishing rod.   It is to my whole life of fishing adventures as “the Hobbit” is to the “Lord of the Rings”.  It was like how everything  starts – not at the beginning, but at “a beginning”.  Now, in all fairness, it is a short story and not too interesting on it’s own really, but none-the-less, it is an important story to me.  I was reminded of this recently when I had the opportunity to be revisited with the memories of receiving my first fishing rod.  Let me tell you about it.

I belong to a group of business people in my community.    This year, the group decided to do something a little different for it’s annual Christmas party.   Instead of having a gift exchange with a few dollars spent on gag gifts, we  all drew names.  Then for the person who’s name  you drew, you bought that person a gift which would have been appropriate  for them when they were five years old.   We wrapped the gifts up and presented them at the Christmas party.  We gave explanations as to why we felt it was appropriate for that person.  At the end of the party we  donated the gifts to a toy drive so that the gifts could be received by a family in need at Christmas.  It was a beautiful and heart warming event and I was very proud to be a part of it.  The gifts were very generous and the evening was really fun as we watched each other receive our “appropriate for us at age five” gifts.

The gift that I received was a Zebco toy fishing rod and reel combo complete with fish shaped casting plug for practice casting.  This gift was so appropriate, that it brought back a flood of memories from a  time when I received my first fishing rod!  A whole scene replayed in my head.  My first rod was also a Zebco.  I began to remember that rod and all of the lures that came with it.   There were 4 rooster tails; the yellow one with black dots which was my favourite, the black with white dots, the red with yellow dots and the white with red dots.   The kit came with a red devil imitation spoon too, and I cast that for pike in our local waters many times, yet I never did catch one.   I did however catch what became a life long obsession with fishing.  My dad even took me out once or twice though he detested fishing.   I’ll never forget wading around in the creek he took me to with my first rod.  It was the creek near his home when he was a boy, and we caught a bunch of sunfish on worms.

I came away from that party with a strong inclination to pass along the magic of receiving a first fishing rod.  Fortunately for me, I have a young nephew. Though he lives a good distance away, we have  managed to get out and do some fishing together.  He is really good to go fishing with – patient with me as I adjust my catching strategies.  Funny, now that I think of it – it was also sunfish that we first caught together.  I decided that this would be a good year to buy him his first fishing outfit as a Christmas gift.  I was relieved to find out that he didn’t already have one to call his own yet which means that maybe, just maybe, I’ll be the catalyst for the spark to all of his fishing adventures.  I hope so because, that’s the real gift here.

People refer to the holiday magic or the magic of the season.  It has been a long time since I have felt that magic and what’s funny is that this year I felt it in the gift of a plastic fishing rod, given to me, to be donated away.  The magic wasn’t really in that particular piece of plastic though, the magic was in the memories of a man, who was a boy at Christmas.  This year, was a special year for me, as I got to touch that magic and then pass it along!   I can’t wait for my nephew and I to share a fishing adventure as again, that is the real gift here.

One of the reasons why I started the Deprived Angler blog and website is to pass along the gift of fishing to others.  As it is now the new year, it is a good time for me to reflect on what my goals are for this website.  I hope that you all have a great new year and I hope that all of you think about your first fishing rod and consider what it would mean if you were able to find a way to spark some magic for someone else.   It would be a great year if we could make 2013 the year to make a few more anglers -” The Undeprived.”


Thank you!

2 responses to “Of Magic and a First Fishing Rod”

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