Photo of the Month: Autumn Slab of Gold

Photo of the Month: Autumn Slab of Gold
Showing posts with label teaching. Show all posts
Showing posts with label teaching. Show all posts

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Awesome Present

So this last week wrapped up my time as a teacher, at least so it would seem for now.  The way things are looking, I'll be teaching again in a couple of months but in a different way.  Unless something major changes, I will be offering guide services in Tennessee including in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Looking back, being a teacher has some benefits, at least if you are a regular classroom teacher.

On the last day of school, students usually bring cards and small presents to the teachers.  This year, one of my students brought a large box with my name on it.  I wasn't sure if that was a good thing or not.  Upon opening it, I found what is one of the best presents I have ever received.

Catherine McGrath Photograph

For those of you that cannot see so well, that reads "The Big BOBBER Floating Cooler."  It has a place to attach a rope or something.  Now, floating down the river in the summer will be so much more awesome.  Imagine all the comments I'll get floating along with my giant bobber.  "Are there really fish that big in here?, or maybe "Is it safe to swim in here?"  I think I'm going to have some fun with this one.  Oh yeah, and it will keep the drinks cool while I'm working hard to catch all those fish...

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Teaching Never Stops

As a teacher, having my summers relatively free is a nice bonus.  This does not mean I stop teaching though.  A couple of weekends ago, I went camping with a group of friends near Gunnison.  Fishing was a definite must and one of my friends had been wanting to learn the sport as well.  I told him that I would be glad to teach him so extra rods were packed and the dry fly box was well-stocked in anticipation of finding some brookies.  

The stream was a small one, out of the way, meandering through the willows and over beaver dams.  Some sections were considerably steeper with tight pocket water while others took on the meadow stream nature that I've come to love.  Both brown and brook trout inhabit this stream.  I tied on a streamer to look for the big guys while my buddy John started off with a yellow Neversink Caddis, size 16.  

Since the stream was so small, I knew he would not have to cast very far to catch something.  I gave a short informal lecture on the theory behind fly casting, showed him what he should be doing, then handed him the rod.  His first two casts were slightly errant, but after another quick tip he was throwing the fly right where it needed to go.  A little more advice on what to do when a fish hit, and we started fishing.  


I was catching a few fish here and there when I found a nice open section just above a beaver dam.  The casting area was definitely not as tight and there were fish waiting for a snack as well!  From up above on the trail, I showed John were to fish and how to approach the pool.  Soon he had snuck into position and laid out a nice cast.  A brookie came up to annihilate the dry and the battle was on.  John fought and landed that fish just like a seasoned pro and soon was posing for a picture of his first trout on the fly rod!  


Not to be outdone, I fished my way around some undercut banks and close to log jams hoping for a big brown.  One 14 incher (a really nice fish for this stream) came out but would not commit while my heart nearly burst from the suspense.  Later, I found a willing brown trout in a larger than average run.  A quick picture and I sent it on its way.  


John continued to do well and ended up catching several fish.  His smile showed that he was enjoying this new sport.  I was happy to be back on the water in Colorado after a month away from home and also happy that I still had a few weeks before school started again.  Teaching fly fishing is a lot different from teaching math, but only because it is outside instead of indoors.  There's nothing like being out in nature!!!