Passing On The Tradition – A Day At The Club

Passing On The Tradition – A Day At The Club

I am so happy to have access to a local gun club to take my family out to enjoy nature. I love seeing my son learn the skills that I did not enjoy until I was an adult. He absolutely loves going out with me and looking for animals signs, or plinking targets with his 22, or catching a few fish in our well stocked ponds.

I am not sure what to spill the digital ink on in this post. Really what I want is to train my boys and give them knowledge so if I pass early they can do these things to remember me. I do not have those memories of my dad really. I went hunting with him one time, while he hunted for squirrels during the winter. I am not sure he liked taking me, I was clumsy and slow. He tended to prefer to hunt and fish with his own friends. I can’t blame him, he had some great friends, but as a son I kind of resent it. I see many of my friends take their sons out with them who were younger than me when my dad died, so I am not buying that I was too young. We could fish together, but we did not do that either. All of my fishing was done with my grandfathers. Thank goodness for grandfathers.

To give you some background on me, I spent the majority of my twenties in the field hunting or fishing or camping. I tied my own flies, built my own fly rods, traveled all over the Midwest and Southeast looking for fish. I hunted whitetail deer, turkey, and squirrel. I slept outside often. I think I counted over 100 days fly fishing in one year while keeping a full time job at the same time. I went year round, something not too easy to accomplish if you live in a place with winters. I was deep in it. It affected my relationships for sure. The only friends I had shared my interests and would lose respect if they couldn’t cast a fly rod. Most of my friends were decades older than me, many of them retired, and were experts in my hobbies. I hung out with them and learned from them. It was a great way to spend my twenties.

Being a fish bum or dirt bag or whatever you call it did not leave me with too many successes outside of my outdoor interests. I skipped my girlfriend at the time’s best friend’s wedding because I was slaying trout on a local tailwater. I spent no time on my career trying to advance it, I literally worked to get to the weekend so I could go nuts. All of this stuff catches up with you though. Some of it I blame for the difficulties I faced when I turned thirty, that I worked so hard to turn around, and I think sometimes I vacated it when my boys were born because I wanted to be with them. Now they are older and asking more questions about it, and it’s been so long that I wonder what I even remember. I’ve not tied a fly in five years at least. I gave that up when little boys reached for razor blades and scissors on my desk and I was afraid they’d get hurt.

But it is time to start anew. This time with new buddies, where I am the old man, and I can share what I know.

Day At The Club - Finding A Turkey Feather
Day At The Club – Finding A Turkey Feather
Day At The Club - Plinking Targets With A 22
Day At The Club – Plinking Targets With A 22