Mentoring The Spark
 

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Author: Gil d'Oliveira AKA treblig

    
 Were does that passion for fishing come from? Often it’s started at a young age as we observe a mentor (usually a parent) wanting to share the joys they have experienced from their very own adventures. They were more concerned that us 'younglings' enjoy the outing whether it was catching a bullhead or just exploring the outdoors - that was all that was need to create a spark!
 
The competition between siblings is contagious. They all want Dad to know who caught the most fish. None complain about getting dirty. You know they have the spark. The kids that don't have found another path of interest. It'simportant to support them also.
 
As technology advances, we have more exposure to outdoor fishing shows displaying their exploits and wonders in that magic box we call television. As the exposure increases the spark starts to become a flame. The outdoor shows are becoming common showing us camping, fishing, hunting and hiking adventures that take us to the unknown. Children start to have a thirst that needs to be quenched and a drive to discover and explore.
    
 
 
Whether it be a hiking trail in a park or a little pond in the city, getting outdoors as a child is an adventure in the great wild. As 'younglings' we had no choice but  to grow up and some would lose the spark while others hung on to it. Many would continue the adventure to enjoy the outdoors and what nature could offer us. The distractions of growing up sometimes caused a split in the road but eventually we found our way back to what created the spark, some quicker than others.
 
What helped me find my way back from being a purist and a snob? It was the pure love for the sport we call fishing that a stranger helped me rediscover in myself as a mentor and all the rewards that mentoring brings. It was that smile on the child’s face that brought memories back from my own beginnings. It was the newbie who’s never ending story about his adventure with me that he wanted to share with everybody. Creating that spark in someone else and showing them how to nurture it is rewarding in itself.
    
    
When I took my 21-year-old daughter out fishing to catch her first coho salmon she told me she would be serious and focused when she hooked one. Well that didn’t happen! She screamed like the little girl that dad always sees in her. We laughed so hard. She was screaming and I was offering guidance. There was no way she wanted my help as she was going to land the salmon on her own terms. When she did I knew that spark that had dimmed while growing up had ignited again. She didn’t care about how dirty or slimy the salmon was. She held it close to her for that trophy shot.
 
I am so happy to have been the catalyst that ignited the spark in others, for all those that have the passion and the love for the sport we call fishing.
 
It’s never too late become a mentor    
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