Gazette Article - How To Properly Handle Trout!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

My Experience On Fatherhood and Fly Fishing

  I have the very best job in the world… Being a father! Some of you might have read the beginning of that sentence and assumed I was going to say, “being a fly fishing guide,” and you would be right, but only because doing this has allowed me to spend more time at home with my family. Life, as you very well know, is short. Then you become a parent, and life starts moving so fast you feel as though you’re stuck in some kind of crazy time warp. A truth so unavoidable I find myself telling my clients about Father Time’s cruel prank every time the subject gets brought up.

       Suddenly, all of the haters talking crap, all of the people singing your praises, and all of the fish in the world don’t matter. The fog clears and your only concern is for this little person that you’re responsible for. This child that you need to teach and protect in a scary world where school shootings, war, and lack of compassion are seemingly becoming commonplace.  

       Kristen and I are of the opinion that American society is in the condition it’s in because both parents have to work full time jobs to provide, and they can’t be at home with their kids like I’m sure they want to. We wanted Bree to have a parent at home as much as possible. After all, who else is better equipped to raise a stable human being than her own mother and father? So we make sacrifices…

       You mean you don’t make millions of dollars as a fly fishing guide? Contrary to popular belief, there aren't to many rich and famous guides. Being a guide for most people is making a conscious decision to forgo becoming rich monetarily, in favor of being rich in spirit. My life over the last five years as a guide has been spent on more meaningful pursuits than money. 

A rare photo of all 3 members of the Kleis family having fun on the water!
Thank you Timm Tews for taking the great photo!

I guide because the people I teach enrich my life. I do it because there are few things more rewarding than seeing a client learn the skills necessary to catch a fish, and then watching them put those new skills to work and have success. 

       Sounds pretty fantastic right? Well, being a father has meant feeling love so profound that I find myself holding back tears every time I see Bree learn something new, or do something special. Being  proud of the person she is, and the person she is becoming, it’s hard not to get overwhelmed with emotion over the silliest things because you know how precious these moments are. Parents reading this know exactly what I’m talking about. Every first is a reason to celebrate; whether that be talking, walking, riding a bike, first movie seen in a theater, first fish! 

  This is my life. So what came first, the trout or the egg? Does it even matter? We all know the reasons why we love fishing, and why we do it. Watching our daughter play in her first tball game, I see why family should be every fathers number one priority, even over fishing. To all of the fathers out there making sacrifices, all of the stay at home dads, all of the dads who have to work 2 jobs to provide, all of the military dads who are or who have been deployed, and all of the grandfathers, you are important, and we just want to wish you a happy Father’s Day!


Bree was suppose to run on that first hit, but we've been practicing over the last year and she was not happy with how far the ball went, so it didn't surprise me things unfolded the way they did... 

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