Every year, a group of fellas (known as the High Plains Drifters) put together an event that is specifically geared towards teaching kids all about the sport of fly fishing.
Actually, it's a little more than just educating the wee ones on throwing a fly - they also make it a point to teach them about river conservation, aquatic insects and their life cycles, knots and fly tying.
It's a fantastic clinic and one that I have been looking forward to for over a year now, and the fact that it was Father's Day weekend just made the event all that much more special.
For some time now, I've slowly been introducing my son to fly fishing - nothing too extreme, just a little taste here and there to get him familiar with it.
From occasional casting practice, to fly tying, at almost 7 years old, he's no stranger to the sport that consumes me. He's also been with me on the river a time or two, and has seen some fish action...
So having some familiarity with it all, my son had a lot of fun rotating through the individual stations with his small group - fly tying (San Juan Worms), fish identification (including where and how they live), and the aquatic bug presentation put on by a gentleman from the Denver Butterfly Pavilion.
And I have to admit, it was all extremely interesting to me, as well - including the talk by Landon Mayer, who brought along some videos and pictures of some rather impressive trout that were caught on streamers - which got the kids (and some adults, too) really pumped up.
After that, the kids all got together with Landon for a group photo.
Around lunch time, we all moved over to Lake Lehow for some hot dogs and chips, followed by the chance to put everything the kids had learned that morning into action.
By the time Tristan and I wrapped up the afternoon, he had hooked several decent trout (they loved the BDSP) in about the 12 inch range, 1 bass on a hopper pattern (he LOVED seeing him take it from the surface, followed by a nice fight) and more Bluegill than you can shake a stick at (30-40 on a simple #22 red midge pattern).
It was an absolutely great time for the both of us, and I want to thank the guys over at High Plains Drifters for a job well done - they don't have to do this, but they volunteer their time and money to help introduce younger folks to this sport, and they have my utmost respect and appreciation.