About a year ago when my son was in 8th grade, we got reports that my son was being bullied and seemed to be showing signs of depression. No one wants their kid to be bullied, and it’s difficult to hear that your child is depressed, even when that’s no one’s fault.
My wife wanted to tackle the situation head on, and get down to the nitty gritty of it fast. If my son was anything like me, that probably wasn’t going to work, but I let my wife do her thing and when it didn’t work as she hoped, I came up with a suggestion.
I explained to my wife that due to societal pressures (as she’s well acquainted with being a woman), it’s not always as easy for males to be open with their emotions. She knows this, but she thought maybe she’d get through to her baby boy. I had another idea.
My son had taken a liking to fishing when he was a bit younger. Now he spent more time gaming than anything which we didn’t love, but it kept him out of trouble at the very least. I had taken up fly fishing about 2 years ago, and it occurred to me that maybe I could get my son interested in that, and maybe in the meantime he’d consider opening up to me.
I felt like rather than pushing the issue, that it would need to happen more organically. So instead of pressuring him to tell me everything, I was hoping we’d form a stronger connection and perhaps he’d volunteer to open up to me. It was worth a shot, especially since the other methods didn’t seem to be working.
So when I presented him with the idea of going on a weekend getaway, I made sure to really hype it up. It would be a fun trip, just the boys. He reluctantly agreed, after I told him he could bring his Nintendo Switch if he absolutely hated fly fishing.
Well, it turns out that I got lucky. It took him a bit to get the hang of it at first, but once he did, it was like I was looking at a whole new kid. There was a spark in his eyes again, which is something that is amazing for a parent to see.
I didn’t push anything, just casual conversation. I tried to lead into different subjects, sometimes alluding to the difficulties I have faced in life, especially as a younger boy. Eventually the floodgates opened.
My son started talking to me about the bullying and the fact that he’s been feeling down. I listened and didn’t offer any advice unless he asked me for it.
That was the first step. After a successful weekend trip, I asked him how much he enjoyed fly fishing, and was it enough for me to consider buying him his own fly fishing rod? His eyes lit up and he told that yes he absolutely would love to have his own, and make our fly fishing a regular thing.
I wanted to make the right decision, so I did some in depth research and ended up deciding on the G. Loomis IMX-PRO Fly Rod from Trouts Fly Fishing. When I gave it to my son, he was over the moon. We started a minimum monthly tradition of going fly fishing.
It’s definitely given him something to look forward to, and I’ve seen it gradually building his confidence as well.His moods are typically on the happy side now, aside from the hormonal tween stuff.
My wife and I feel so blessed and are so thankful that things have turned around like this. We attribute it to his love of fly fishing and it giving him the boost that he needed from being good at something. We can’t recommend Trouts Fly Fishing enough.