Backwoods Extreme with David Orlowski


This thought crossed my mind the other evening when my daughter asked if I wanted to tag along with her fishing, “I’ve created a true angler and I couldn’t be happier.” It’s funny how years fly by and times change for many things, but when it comes to fishing the only difference nowadays is that she’s asking me to go instead.

I guess her desire to fish was instilled when I took her fishing ever since she was able to go. It was exactly what I hoped would happen right from the start, and I would be able to stand by and watch it slowly evolve. It became especially true after seeing the excitement she showed when catching those first fish.

If I remember right, that probably happened when she was only a couple of years old. She had her first pole, a little compact kids outfit with a bobber on the line and a worm on the hook. I cast it a short distance from the pond’s edge and handed to her.

Then we waited briefly until the bobber disappeared beneath the water’s surface. I told her to pull it tight. The bluegill fought hard but she was controlling the retrieve and got the fish landed as best as any first timer can.

From that day forward, it’s been a no-pressure situation. I definitely didn’t need to force her to go because she was usually asking when we were going again. That resulted in her fondness for fishing that has become a great part of her life.

In her evolution as an angler, she’s gone through the many phases of fishing styles it has to offer. First she was a bait fisherman, which lasted several years, followed by an interest of learning the art of fishing lures and plugs. Then, last but not least, she took to fly fishing, a sport which requires finesse and patience and one that she enjoys the most.

Each method gets its fair share of action as it all depends on what species of fish she’s after on that particular outing. She doesn’t stick to one specific species, but fishes for what’s available at the time regardless of whether it’s perch, bluegills, bass, walleye, trout or even catfish, etc. Each fish gets its photo taken as she enjoys photography as well as catch and release fishing.

It’s a sport that bonds us together in the outdoors. Sometimes we talk each other’s ears off or just spend hours on end talking about nothing more than what the moment brings. Everyday issues get worked out while discussing lure retrieval speeds, casting distance, netting feisty fish and whatever comes to mind.

I’m proud that I’ve instilled a love for the outdoors into my daughter, much like my father did for me.

So, take a youngster fishing as there’s nothing better than having them return the favor one day in the future. You’ll remember those special moments as much as the memories.

David Orlowski is a writer, hunter, fisherman and outdoor enthusiast from Potter County. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association.