My love and passion for fishing started as a small child (4 or 5) fishing off the dock at Lake Lanier, in the clear north Georgia creeks and rivers and the Florida coast near my grand parents’ home in Clearwater. My brother Harley and I fished the Chattahoochee River from Buford Dam to metro Atlanta from our canoe and mowed lawns to buy a small, used johnboat and Elgin outboard motor when I was 13. Our camping and fishing adventures were wonderfully supported by our mom and dad.
During the summer between freshman and sophomore years at Emory University, I taught canoeing and fishing at Camp Hiawassee in North Georgia to kids aged 8 to 16. Fresh trout for breakfast over a campfire is a wonderful lesson. Here is where I first truly realized the significance of the outdoors and fishing to young peoples’ lives.
Since then, I’ve fished in the Caribbean for Marlin and bonefish; the coast of Florida for tarpon, redfish, trout and other beautiful and tasty species: King Mackerel , Wahoo, Snapper and Grouper… in Alaska for Salmon and Grayling and the Rockies for Rainbow and Cutthroat Trout.
My wife Mollie began fishing with me when we started dating and my 3 daughters have fished with me since they were old enough to hold a rod. Our friends and their children ask us to take them fishing and we do. So, they too know the pleasure of tight-lines and squealing drag… and fresh fish on the grill. But, most of all, we know the wonder and grandeur of the great outdoors; being one with nature watching ospreys soar overhead.
I’m bringing Fishing’s Future to Georgia because I’ve long believed that every kid and family become better stewards of nature and kinder, more loving people if they spend some time relaxing and fishing on any pond, creek, lake or ocean where the stress and noise of the typical day to day is washed away. I’ve never seen/heard anyone hook, catch and release a fish then say, “I don’t want to do that again.” Nope, they all say, “Let’s do that again!” I’m never sure if they realize that - they too are hooked.