Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Angler Interview: Caleb Parent

Caleb working the New Haven river for the Otter Creek Classic
This weekend is the first ever Trout Unlimited Vermont Trout Camp sponsored by MadDog TU. It is taking place at Quimby Country up in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. Half a dozen young anglers are up there now honing their skills and learning new techniques. I am heading up shortly to teach the kids a class on entomology (they might like the name bugology better). One of the campers is a young man I thought would be a great fit for the Trout Camp- Caleb Parent. Caleb's dad Dan has been a great advocate for him and both of them are enthusiastic fly fishers. Every time I talk to Dan he is singing the praises of Caleb's growing skills at fly fishing. Hopefully he learns more over this weekend!

I thought it would be appropriate timing to interview Caleb for the Friday Angler Interview. When I got his answers by email I not only realized that he is psyched about the camp but that the kid can write too!  (always great for a teacher to see!)  Here he is:
How did you get into fly fishing?
Jesse Haller instructing Caleb on some new techniques

My dad originally introduced me to fly fishing before him or I had actually learned anything about the sport or how to do it properly. I briefly got a chance to try at Conservation Camp in southern Vermont but not by a proper guide. On my 15th birthday my dad took me out on a guided trip with a familiar guide, Jesse Haller. He taught me the basics of what I needed to know from then on.

How long have you been fishing in general?

I have been fishing since the last I could remember. 5-6 years old or even younger. Launching a huge worm out into the lake and catching sunnies, smallmouth bass and other warm water species. But only the past year or two I have been out fly fishing.

What do you like about fly fishing more than other types of gear?
Working the foam line

Fly fishing was very attractive to me because of the challenge and complexity of the sport. It is much more rewarding catching a fish on a fly rod than it is to catch a fish on a spinning rod and a big night crawler. It is not only the fishing that I enjoy. I think catching a fish is just a bonus for getting out on the stream and enjoying the great outdoors. 

What kinds of fish have you caught so far?

I have caught multiple species fly fishing: perch, smallmouth bass, brown trout, rainbow trout, brook trout, fallfish, sunfish. That's all I can think of at this time.

Everyone has a big fish story, what is yours?

Well, so far I haven't caught a giant fish per say on a fly rod yet, but with Mepps I caught the biggest brown trout I've caught at around 16 inches. It took awhile to land and was the highlight of my week. My dad was jealous of me because he caught no fish for the rest of the day after I nailed that big brown.

Have you ever tied flies?

Yes, I briefly learned how to tie flies at Conservation Camp but once again that was not from a professional. I did learn from a friend and worker at a local fly shop-Green Mountain Troutfitters in Jeffersonville VT. I tied some beetles, some hares ears, and other nymphs.

What is your favorite fly and why do you like it so much?

That question is very broad and can be taken in many different ways. I assume it's the name i.e Parachute Adams. But I much prefer streamers and  wooly buggers because I seem to get more luck with them. On certain nights with prime conditions for a dry fly the first thing I would tie on would be a red Humpy.

Are you excited about attending the very first Trout Camp in Vermont?

I am very excited for the camp and think it will be a great learning experience and also a way to meet more people that are interested in the same things I am.

What are you hoping to learn there?

I am hoping to learn more about how to catch trout and where they lie in a stream and what flies to use when. I'm pretty confident in my ability to use the fundamentals of fly fishing (Casting, hook setting, stripping line etc.)

What class at the camp are you looking forward to the most?

Of course I am looking forward to the entomology class. :P No, but I am very interested in bugs and science. Biology has been my strongest subject in high school and I have always had an interest in science.

So, if you were given a trip to go anywhere and fish for anything you wanted, where would you go and what would you catch and why?

My dream fishing trip would have to be Patagonia fishing for Brown Trout. It looks like SO much fun and killer fishing. Not just the fish but the amazing views of the mountains and the indescribable beauty of the winding streams.

What do you want to fish for near home that you haven’t caught yet?

I have caught most species in my area on a fly rod except Landlocked Salmon and Muskies. I am definitely looking forward to getting out with you and hooking into some killer fish.

Is there a rod/reel combination that you really, really want?

I personally don't believe that fishing is in the gear. I am perfectly happy with the gear I have right now. I could go for a better, perhaps Orvis rod that doesn't every now and again get jammed up. But there is no rod/reel combo that I am dying to get.

So Caleb, do you have a special thank you for someone that likes to get you out on the river as much as he can?
Caleb and Dan Parent enjoying the water at one of their favorite fishing holes

Absolutely, my dad has been the one to always take me out on great fly fishing trips whether it be a fishing tournament in Middlebury or just a nice day on the stream on the Clyde river in Newport. But the most fun I've had was the Dam in Sheldon, every cast regardless of what fly is a fish on.

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