It was in 1983 and I was going into my Senior Year in college. I was hired on as a camp counselor at Lake CouerD’Alene, so I thought “what the heck, it’s time to give it a try.”
My grandfather gave me a bamboo fly rod several years earlier and I had no idea how to cast let along what a Tippet was. I did a little reading and bought Martin 65 reel (Which I still have) put some 7wt floating line on with no backing, tied on what I thought was a leader and off I went during one day off in a canoe to a nearby cove.
Got no clue what fly I put on from the local hardware store, but after several hours, managed to hook up on what I though was a monster. I finally stopped using the reel to bring in all that line I threw out, and slowly managed to land that 3-inch Bluegill. I couldn’t tell you much more about that summer, except I did a lot of casting and caught a lot of Bluegill.
After I graduated, I bought a graphic Rod (Which I still have) and spent more time learning how to fish, just with flies. I eventually began tying my own, and I can honestly say there is no feeling better than seeing a fish chase down a fly you tied. It was a simple Renegade, but to me it looked like Jaws coming after Richard Dreyfuss.