S3:E31 Parenting Kids to Love the Outdoors

Parenting kids to love the outdoors is easier said than done. It requires intentionality, patience and flexibility. In this first-of-its-kind episode (for us), we invited several of our kids to ask them about our “outstanding” job of helping them develop a love for the outdoors. Joining us for this episode are Steve’s two boys, Ben and Luke, and Dave’s oldest, Christian. Steve has two other kids, and Dave has three others. This is a fun one, as the boys regale us for a hilarious episode on parenting kids to love the outdoors.

Listen now to “Parenting Kids to Love the Outdoors”

Great Stuff from Our Listeners. At the end of each episode, we often include a feature called “Great Stuff from Our Listeners.” It’s the last segment of each episode, where Steve reads one of the comments from our listeners or readers. We enjoy hearing from you, and appreciate your advice, wisdom, and fly fishing experiences.

What advice would you give to young parents who want to instill a love for the outdoors? We’d love to hear your funny stories of the patience it takes to parent kids in the outdoors!

REFER THE PODCAST!

By the way, we’d love for you to refer our podcast to a friend, your TU chapter, or fly fishing club. Be sure to pass along our podcast to others.

That is the most simple way to help us grow!

Download a Podcast App on Your Smartphone

Be sure to subscribe to our podcast feed. You can do that on your smartphone or tablet by downloading a podcast app. The most common app used by 2 Guys feed subscribers is “Podcasts.”

Or you can simply subscribe to the RSS feed here:

Subscribe to 2 Guys and A River2 Guys and A River

To see every episode that we’ve published, click on “Fly Fishing Podcast” on the top navigation.

The Fly Fisher’s Book of Lists

We’ve published a book for regular-Joe-and-Jane fly fishers called The Fly Fisher’s Book of Lists: Life is short. Catch more fish.

One person who purchased the book called it “Cliffs Notes” for fly fishers.

To switch metaphors, perhaps it’s more like a handful of potato chips. It’s an entire book of lists. The goal is to help you find practical help quickly and in an easily digestible format!

Buy it today on Amazon for only $16.99!

S3:E29 2017 Fly Fishing Reflections

fly fishing

Fly fishing reflections are a good way to begin planning for the new year. In this episode, we look back on 2017 and discuss its lowlights and highlights. We both want to fish more days in 2018, improve a couple areas of our fly fishing craft, and, hopefully, catch more fish. Life really is short. Catch more fish.

Listen now to “2017 Fly Fishing Reflections”

Great Stuff from Our Listeners. At the end of each episode, we often include a feature called “Great Stuff from Our Listeners.” It’s the last segment of each episode, where Steve reads one of the comments from our listeners or readers. We enjoy hearing from you, and appreciate your advice, wisdom, and fly fishing experiences.

What were some of your highlights in 2017? What are some of your aspirations for 2018? We look forward to hearing your comments!

REFER THE PODCAST!

By the way, we’d love for you to refer our podcast to a friend, your TU chapter, or fly fishing club. Be sure to pass along our podcast to others.

That is the most simple way to help us grow!

Download a Podcast App on Your Smartphone

Be sure to subscribe to our podcast feed. You can do that on your smartphone or tablet by downloading a podcast app. The most common app used by 2 Guys feed subscribers is “Podcasts.”

Or you can simply subscribe to the RSS feed here:

Subscribe to 2 Guys and A River2 Guys and A River

To see every episode that we’ve published, click on “Fly Fishing Podcast” on the top navigation.

The Fly Fisher’s Book of Lists

We’ve published a book for regular-Joe-and-Jane fly fishers called The Fly Fisher’s Book of Lists: Life is short. Catch more fish.

One person who purchased the book called it “Cliffs Notes” for fly fishers.

To switch metaphors, perhaps it’s more like a handful of potato chips. It’s an entire book of lists. The goal is to help you find practical help quickly and in an easily digestible format!

Buy it today on Amazon for only $16.99!

Witty Outdoor Sayings: “You Should Have Been Here Yesterday”

You should have been here yesterday – I can’t think of a more annoying comment. I’ve had some great days on the river. But I’ve also had a lot more days on the river when I was reminded later by some jerk I had never met before that the previous day had been a lot better.

The phrase “You should have been here yesterday” is not really all that witty. It’s pretty much a thoughtless taunt. At least it feels like a taunt. Maybe it’s simply small talk. It’s unnecessary chitchat, for sure. It’s a saying that complete strangers at a fly shop or at the coffee shop will offer up with no warning.

It’s mindless. And flippant.

Shame on My Friends

Worse, it’s a saying that even friends and family have the audacity to blurt out, with little to no provocation.

For a generation each fall, I have hunted upland game and waterfowl with my father and his cronies. For decades, I carved out a week of my life and traveled back to North Dakota. My sons and brother and I bounced around the prairie with my father’s generation, who regaled us with Ole and Lena jokes, some of which raised the eyebrows of my young sons, who giggled at the occasional potty language and body parts.

Invariable, no matter how good a week of hunting, one of my father’s friends would pipe up, just as sure as the sun rose that morning, “It’s too bad you weren’t here last week. We shot so many geese.”

This is another perverse form of saying, “You should have been here yesterday.”

Last week. Yesterday. The other day. Shoulda, woulda, coulda.

Maybe I’m just being too sensitive. But when an inconsiderate slob, even a family friend, makes the brainless observation that I should have been fishing here yesterday, he or she puts me in a mood.

I wasn’t here yesterday. I am here today. And the fishing stinks.

I will say, though, that the wisecrack rarely comes up on a guided float trip down the Yellowstone River.

Before we put in, the guide may say, “Man, it was really good yesterday. The browns were slamming hoppers.” However, as the day goes by, especially on the slower trips, the conversation rarely drifts to yesterday. That’s good. Because I’m still thinking about his earlier comment how good the fishing was yesterday while feeling grumpy about the action today.

Guides are pretty savvy. They know their tip comes at the end of the day. So, it’s never strategic to offer up the saying to an exasperated client at 4:30 PM.

My Bigger Struggle with “You Should Have Been Here Yesterday”

A couple years ago, Steve, my podcast partner, and I fished a stretch of Montana’s 16 Mile Creek. By sheer luck (Steve’s connections and a rare opening on private waters), we spent six hours reeling in trout after trout until we cried “Uncle.” At about 4 PM, Steve said, “I am wrecked.” I was too.

Exhausted, we wrapped up the late afternoon and early evening with 4,000 calories each at the area’s best steak house.

The next morning, we were back at the fly shop, still feeling sluggish from the carnage at the steak house, and I began to make small talk with one of the shop monkeys. I mentioned that we had fished 16 Mile, and he said that had fished a stretch of the river not long ago.

I couldn’t help myself.

“You should have been at 16 Mile yesterday.”

S3:E18 Overcoming the 5 Barriers to Fly Fishing More

fly fishing

Barriers to fly fishing more include season of life, health, beginner frustration, finances, and many others. In this episode, we identify five common barriers and discuss how we can overcome them and get out on the water more often. So much of what keeps many from fly fishing more boils down to a question: Is fly fishing something I really want to do? It’s not for everyone.

Listen now to “Overcoming the 5 Barriers to Fly Fishing More

Great Stuff from Our Listeners. At the end of each episode, we often include a feature called “Great Stuff from Our Listeners.” It’s the last segment of each episode, where Steve reads one of the comments from our listeners or readers. We enjoy hearing from you, and appreciate your advice, wisdom, and fly fishing experiences.

How do you find time to fly fish more? What have you done to make space in your life to find more time in the great outdoors?

By the way, we’d love for you to refer our podcast to a friend, your TU chapter, or fly fishing club. Be sure to pass along our podcast to others.

Other Similar Articles and Episodes

    5 “More Fly Fishing Myths

    S2:E32 Fly Fishing Myths of “More”

    S2:E26 The Markers of Fly Fishing Satisfaction

    Sustaining Your Fly Fishing Passion

Download a Podcast App on Your Smartphone

Be sure to subscribe to our podcast feed. You can do that on your smartphone or tablet by downloading a podcast app. The most common app used by 2 Guys feed subscribers is “Podcasts.”

Or you can simply subscribe to the RSS feed here:

Subscribe to 2 Guys and A River2 Guys and A River

To see every episode that we’ve published, click on “Fly Fishing Podcast” on the top navigation.

The Fly Fisher’s Book of Lists

For this episode, we are the Sponsor!

We’ve published a book called, The Fly Fisher’s Book of Lists: Life is short. Catch more fish.

We like to say it is a book of bite-sized snacks. Maybe even like a handful of potato chips. It’s an entire book of lists. The goal is to help you find practical help quickly and in an easily digestible format!

Visit Amazon to get your copy today!

S3:E1 Fly Fishing, Fathers and a Love for the Outdoors

fly fishing guides

Fathers and a love for the outdoors – a few of us had fathers who opened our eyes to the big world of the outdoors. In this episode, we recall the role our fathers played in giving us a love for fly fishing and hunting. Steve’s father, who has been gone for many years, instilled in Steve the drive to give the outdoors a “full pursuit.” Dave’s dad is alive and well at 83-years-old, and plans to hunt deer this fall in North Dakota. We think you’ll enjoy this episode on Fly Fishing, Fathers and a Love for the Outdoors.

Listen now to “Fly Fishing, Fathers and a Love for the Outdoors”

Great Stuff from Our Listeners. At the end of each episode, we often include a feature called “Great Stuff from Our Listeners.” It’s the last portion of each episode, where Steve reads one of the comments from our listeners or readers. We enjoy hearing from you, and appreciate your advice, wisdom, and fly fishing experience.

Did you have a Dad who gave you a love for the outdoors? If not, and if you have any children, how are you instilling in them a love for the outdoors? And have you mentored anyone – a niece or nephew or friend?

Download a Podcast App on Your Smartphone

Be sure to subscribe to our podcast feed. You can do that on your smartphone or tablet by downloading a podcast app. The most common app used by 2 Guys feed subscribers is “Podcasts.”

Or you can simply subscribe to the RSS feed here:

Subscribe to 2 Guys and A River2 Guys and A River

To see every episode that we’ve published, click on “Every Episode” on the top navigation.

Father’s Day Memories

    “Fly Fishing and the End of Days”

    “Three Lessons My Father Taught Me about Fly Fishing”

Our Sponsor

For this episode, we are the Sponsor!

We’ve published a book called, The Fly Fisher’s Book of Lists: Life is short. Catch more fish.

We like to say it is a book of bite-sized snacks. Maybe even like a handful of potato chips. It’s an entire book of lists. The goal is to help you find practical help quickly and in an easily digestible format!

Visit Amazon to get your copy today!

S2:E52 Lessons from 104 Fly Fishing Podcast Episodes

fly fishing

It has been two years. We’re now at 104 fly fishing podcast episodes. In this 104th episode, the finale of our second year, we reflect on the past year and tease out some insights and lessons from the journey. This is not our day job. It’s our avocation, and we are looking forward to another year of podcasting. We think the best is yet to come.

Listen now to “Lessons from 104 Fly Fishing Podcast Episodes”

Great Stuff from Our Listeners. At the end of each episode, we often include a feature called “Great Stuff from Our Listeners.” It’s the last portion of each episode, where Steve reads one of the comments from our listeners or readers. We enjoy hearing from you, and appreciate your advice, wisdom, and fly fishing experience.

What have you learned from fly fishing the past year? And which topics would you like us to address in Season Three?

Download a Podcast App on Your Smartphone

Be sure to subscribe to our podcast feed. You can do that on your smartphone or tablet by downloading a podcast app. The most common app used by 2 Guys feed subscribers is “Podcasts.”

Or you can simply subscribe to the RSS feed here:

Subscribe to 2 Guys and A River2 Guys and A River

To see every episode that we’ve published, click on “Every Episode” on the top navigation.

Our Sponsor

For this episode, we are the Sponsor!

We’ve published a book called, The Fly Fisher’s Book of Lists: Life is short. Catch more fish.

We like to say it is a book of bite-sized snacks. Maybe even like a handful of potato chips. It’s an entire book of lists. The goal is to help you find practical help quickly and in an easily digestible format!

Visit Amazon to get your copy today!

Autumn’s Most Sacred Outdoors Tradition

I’ve hunted in North Dakota my entire life. Every fall, at least one of my sons and I make the almost 900-mile drive from Chicago to North Dakota for opening day of pheasant season.

The tradition started years ago, before I had kids, before I was married. Every fall, my brother and I figured out a way to truck back to our stomping grounds, even though that meant skipping classes while in college, graduate school, and, for my brother, even medical school.

Each October, we tromp the grasslands and cornfields of central and western North Dakota with our father and his aging friends. There are hundreds of crazy stories to tell, many of them apocryphal. We struggle to assign a specific year to a story. The years merge together like a hundred streams that flow into a single river.

The Great Grandma Excuse

When my oldest son was four, I buckled him to a car seat and endured 900 miles of potty stops and McDonald’s Happy Meals from Chicago to North Dakota for a few days of guy time. When we arrived, Grandma babysat Christian while my father, brother, and I cavorted with my father’s friends for four days in the Dakota outdoors. At 7 years old, Christian abandoned grandma and piled in the truck with the guys to hunt. He hung around the truck while we walked the fields. At 10, he tagged along with us up and down the corn rows and the draws and ravines. He was a great bird dog. At 11, he shot his first pheasant.

As the years went by, sports (more specifically, football) began to encroach on our tradition.

During Christian’s middle school years, we needed a good reason for him to miss almost a week of football, including a game. (We never fretted about missing school, though probably we should have.) Opening day of pheasant season was always the second Saturday of October – in the dead of football season. In Wheaton, there is god and one god only: football.

We needed an excuse. A really good excuse. So, starting when Christian was in sixth grade, I alerted his football coach a few days before we were to leave, “Christian’s great grandmother is dying, and we need to see her before she passes. This might be the last time he sees her alive.”

At the time, Christian’s great grandma was 94. No coach dared to say, “Well, do it and I’ll bench you.”

Was great grandma actually dying?

Well, not exactly.

Was she old? Yes.

Could she die? And could this be the last time Christian might see her? Absolutely.

Every year in middle school, there was a new coach. And every year, the excuse worked beautifully. It stopped working its magic for Christian during his freshman year in high school, however. When we returned from six memorable days in North Dakota, Christian got benched. And he never regained his position the rest of the season.

That was Christian’s last year in North Dakota for hunting. Football trumped our tradition. I wasn’t happy, but some things in life you simply can’t fight. By the way, the excuse still worked for my youngest son while he played football in middle school. He was never benched.

Great grandma, though, is still alive and now 102.

Now that Cory, my youngest son, will play football at Wheaton North as a freshman, we face another crack in the tradition. High school coaches show no quarter. We’re now considering changing the tradition, delaying the trip until the end of October, after football is over, though we still haven’t figured out what to do if his team makes the playoffs.

Sacred Outdoors Tradition

My oldest still plays in college, but it won’t be long until he’ll be back with us in North Dakota.

Football ends, our tradition lives on.

I’ve reminded my oldest that the disappointments and dreariness of football (getting hurt, not starting, getting benched, the quirky injuries, months of mindless drills and weight-lifting, and third-rate coaching from men who never grew up) are mostly preparation for the end of football. Some day, it will all be over. So accept the disappointment as a harbinger of how you will feel the last time you don your helmet for game day. For most players, football is mostly about learning to deal with the death of your over-blown expectations.

But our hunting tradition persists, even if next fall, only my brother and I and a couple of his kids make the trip. The tradition continues.

Grandpa and grandma are now 81. Great-grandma, as I mentioned, is 102.

My father rarely walks a field anymore, but drives the truck and still reaches for his wallet first to pay for gas and lunch. Last fall, my father walked a mile-long ravine with us one late morning in early October, determined not merely to be road support. It was a slow walk in thick grass and brush, but we kicked up a couple birds and guffawed when we all missed.

You’d think we’d be better shots after all these years.

Through the years, our tradition has created an outdoor space to laugh, to joke, to drink lukewarm coffee, to eat third-rate food at the Chat-n-Chew cafe, and to weather a couple years where we didn’t have much to say to each other, because how hurt we felt with how each of us had responded to a family conflict.

Autumn gave us reason to be together, even when we did not understand each other.

My brother and I fret about the day when the hunting party grows quiet, when the laughter of my dad and his friends no longer fills the early morning as we put out goose decoys in the dark and shiver by the rock pile waiting for the sun and the geese to arrive. It’s inevitable. Something wonderful is passing, and we can’t hold on to it.

We can only say thanks for autumn’s most holy tradition. And prepare to become the elders of our tribe, the guys who drive the truck and pay for our kids and grandkids’ lunch at the Chat-n-Chew.

The Tenuous Nature of Life in the Outdoors

Every year, Steve and I fly-fish a stretch of the Yellowstone (the ‘Stone) River near Tower Fall, a 132-foot waterfall that empties into the Yellowstone. We generally park at the General Store at the top of the canyon and hike the switchback trail to the bottom. Then we hustle up river three or four miles, trying to leapfrog any fly fisherman. The farther you hike, the better the fly fishing (and the greater the risk for encountering a grizzly bear). This is simply part of the tenuous nature of life in the outdoors.

One year, while returning at dusk, we plodded along the trail along the river and looked up to spy a herd of bison lying like lazy milk cows in the trail. Maybe eight or nine bison, including a calf or two. I’m terrible at judging distance. Perhaps the bison were 150 yards ahead of us.

“What do you think we should do?” Steve said.

There was no alternate way back to our car at the top of Tower Fall. The swiftness of the ‘Stone’ and its slippery rocky bottom was too treacherous to cross, even (or especially) with waders. And there was no route around herd to get to the switchback that would take us to the top of the canyon. There was no going back upriver. Darkness was falling.

“Let’s keep walking,” I said. “They’ll get up and move up the ravine.”

Sauntering Curiosity

We did, and they did. Well, at least all of them except one. One of the bulls.

He did not appear overly anxious with our oncoming presence and when he finally scrambled to his feet, he switched his tail and began to saunter toward us.

It is now conventional wisdom that the male brain does not fully mature until its mid-twenties and even thirties, and my over confidence simply confirmed that the prefrontal cortex brains of our late forties had more room for development.

There was an uncomfortable silence between us after we stared at each other, at the river to our right, and at the oncoming bull, who seemed curious to meet his new trail mates.

We edged our way to the few feet off the trail to the bank of the ’Stone and held our collective breath. We could wade out only a couple yards into the river before needing to turn back. There was no escape hatch.

I don’t remember who blinked. But at about 50 yards (again, I’m a lousy judge of distance, just as I am the size of trout I catch), the brawny beast simply switched its tail and turned up the ravine to catch up with the rest of the herd. Steve and I hiked in silence most of the rest of the way to the top of the canyon, which was still almost an hour away.

Tenuous Reality

Like many, I’ve always found a greater sense of the grandeur of God while in the outdoors than while sitting on a pew in a church. The pew has its role, though maybe more of a kind of Puritan stocks to force discipline on my restless mind than anything else. And while feeling close to God in nature is always pleasant, there is another dark and important narrative to the outdoors. Beauty is over-rated when you think you’re going to die. I really could die out here.

There is the bison, the grizzly bear, the snow squall, the slip of your boots while wading into the ‘Stone, the rattle snake bite with no bite kit, or the turn of an ankle four miles upriver with no cell coverage.

It’s not morbid, just a reality that strangely helps me see the tenuousness and beauty of life.