Tuesday, May 17, 2011


A few weeks ago while fishing a small stream that ran through a wildlife management area, I noticed a group of children and a few adults talking near the stream. They walked to the streams edge and I could hear one of the adults talking about the various residents of the stream. When I was asked about how my fishing was going by one of the instructors, I said just fine. He explained that it was a class field trip, which I thought was a great idea, get them out for a first hand experience.

While continuing to fish I soon hooked a brook trout. Bringing the fish in, I asked the teacher if they would like to see one of the streams most beautiful residents. He said yes, and all of the children gathered streamside. As I gently lifted the brookie from the water, and their eyes saw this fish, there was a look of amazement, and joy. They all wanted to touch the trout but I put him back into the stream and told them about how he would be much better off there.
While this was going on one of the children stepped on my rod and broke it.
Having noticed this I tried to lift it up and walk back to my fishing, not wanting them to see the broken rod. As they stepped back, they all said thank you mister.

Looking at where the rod was broken I decieded it could be possibly repaired. When I reached my car I looked for some tape, duck,or adhesive. I had none. Then I saw a first aid kit and it had bandaids in it, so I soon repaired the rod with a few bandaids, and off I went to fish that little stream for a few hours. I was going to send the rod out for repair, but I may just keep it as a reminder of a special day.

An on site learning experience.

The broken St. Croix Avid

The repairs made, and fishing resumed


  1. Cool you got to show the kids the brookie, the bandaids are a wild touch!

  2. Great story Alan.

    You may have launched the career of the next John Muir, Ansel Adams or Thomas Ames by not letting them know that your rod was broken by accident. A lesson we all should learn from about how our actions may affect others.

    By the way, the rod looks "old school" and should also remind everyone what it is all about when fishing (i.e. the fish and not the equipment).

    Please post the first fish you catch with the rod.

  3. I agree not showing the kids the broken rod was a class act. Great story.

  4. Well done! It is sometimes difficult to maintain one's composure in such situations.

    Have a read of page 4 in this old Newsletter...


    Regular Rod

  5. Great story! This post has started my day off right. I echo Herringbone's words: you're a class act!

  6. When I'm fishing and small kids wander by with their parents and ask questions, I'm always happy to oblige and let them get a close look at any fish I catch. I would be a little bummed out by a broken rod but that moment with a child can sometimes ignite a spark that will last a life time. The more that children come to appreciate nature early on the more likely they are to appreciate it when they are adults. The rod is a small price to pay for the future.

  7. The words class act are being thrown around and that is a good call by everyone. This story is one of those stories that sets some people apart because there are fisherman who would have ignored the kids, or yelled at them when they stepped on your rod. So I tip my hat to you sir.

    OH and I couldn't help but think that maybe you inspired some kid to take up fly fishing on small streams that day, because it was a similar experience that got me hooked!

  8. Great story. The kids will remember that fish for a long time! The broken rod might be a perfect tribute to both the kids and your experience.

  9. Sorry about the rod but I'm sure in your mind it was worth the opportunity to show those youngsters a wild fish and to give them some thoughts for the future.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Passinthru Outdoors Blog - Sharing the Passion

  10. You get a High Five from me for the rod fix.

  11. Very nice story Brt Trt! I'll bet if you send the story along with the rod for repair, they may even repair it at no cost !

  12. Way to improvise and stay positive. I have 2 daughers 4 and 5 and understand how things can just happen.
    As always beautiful brookie.

  13. BRK....you have confirmed what I already believed to be true and I am lucky and proud to know you...waterworker

  14. Nice story. Being gracious in the face of adversity is a true gift.

  15. I would like to say thank you for your wonderful comments.
    We as stewards of our outdoors need to bring the youth into our passions and show them the beauty of the natural world.

  16. Broken fly rod due to children stepping on it or closing a power window on it..same consequence but with the former, a decidedly better outcome!

  17. I have heard a rash of broken rod stories over the last couple days, but yours brought a smile to my face, Brk Trt. Thanks for sharing.