My son has two friends who are brothers named Mark and Matt. Mark is the elder and he is 14. Their dad Mike has taken them fishing with him since they were old enough to walk. Since then the boys have devoured every fishing magazine, book and television show. When there was a hot bite their dad would knock off early from work and take them fishing.
Recently, work has been getting in the way of fishing, and Mike hasn’t been able to sneak out early as much as the boys would like. That hasn’t iced their fishing time because Mark stepped in to get his younger brother on the water.
One of their favorite spots is a kettle pond that holds a lot of bass, both large and smallmouth. To get there the boys take their bikes. They’ll fold the rod tips next to the butts and strap ‘em to their bike frames. They’ll put an assortment of crankbaits, spoons, and spinnersin a backpack along with a pair of nail clippers and a pair of pliers. Then they’re off.
Most times, Mark doesn’t fish. He spends a good bit of time helping his younger brother cast, tie knots, or release fish. When the bite is hot, all lines are in the water. Just recently the boys peddled their bikes over to the mouth of a saltwater estuary. Some big bluefish were blitzing on menhaden so both fellas got to fish. Above, you see a picture of their catch.
Sometimes the boys bring along a friend, other times it’s just the two of them. Fishing with a parent or grandparent is unique. But there is something special about an older brother who steps in. The bond isn’t better, but it sure is different. Most of us probably wish we had an older brother like Mark. I know I do.
Tom Keer is a freelance writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He regularly writes for over a dozen magazines, and is the contributing editor of Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America and a columnist for The Upland Almanac. His book a “Flyfisher’s Guide to the New England Coast” was published by Wilderness Adventures Press in 2010. Visit him at www.tomkeer.com.