When I was about 10 years old, I started working at the family resort. My dad and grandpa would drop me off in the morning at my grandma Helens house, along with a lifelong friend of the family, Ed Reddick. Now my dad and grandpa made me work very hard, but not without reward. I had what seemed like a very long list of chores to do every morning. It would take me until the latter part of the afternoon to complete, but once I completed them, it was time for me to fish.
My dad had given me a 15-horse pull-start motor and a 12-foot Alumacraft as pay for doing my chores. But that wasn't the real reward. Every morning before my dad and grandpa left, they would drink coffee and discuss what they were fishing for on this particular day. Grandpa would tell stories of the fish he had caught or seen and places to go. The stories encapsulated me and made me eager to fish. I would listen hard to all of grandpa’s stories and I asked lots of questions.
Before my dad and grandpa would leave in the morning, they would hint to me of places to go, and things to try. Sometimes when I got really lucky, I was able to tag along and go fishing with them for the day. Grandpa and dad are masters at captivating anyone's attention, and if they really liked you they would share some insight that could make the difference between catching a few fish and limiting out. Or it just might be the one thing that gets you the big one! Without realizing it, I was being taught and given the tools of two master guides. In awe of their stories and intrigued by their details, a passion was created that has forever changed my life.