Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Big brother, bugs and squishy shoes

Remember your first fishing trip? Whether you were young or old, successful or skunked, that initial trip makes a lasting impression. And you never forget who took you. For me, it was my brother, Joe.

Robin Thomas, around five or six years old, with her brother Joe.

I was only five years old, but I still remember it was a sweltering Utah summer, probably sometime in late July or early August.

On weekends, my family would trek to the property we owned above Jordanelle Reservoir. Then we’d spend hours working on projects, especially mending and painting fences. Looking back, that’s probably why Joe volunteered to take me fishing!

Joe is seven years older than I am and always treated me like his little buddy. On our weekend trips, we’d help with family projects and then head over to the large, winding irrigation ditch and toss in a line.

I don’t recall any spectacular catches during that first trip — just a lot of fun. We had such a good time that we went back whenever we could. In addition to reeling in fish, we’d throw rocks, catch bugs and swing on a nearby rope swing. Then we’d wander back, sunburned and happy, in soppy, squishy shoes. That time with Joe is one of my favorite childhood memories, and it’s why I still fish today.

Robin Thomas at Willard Bay in 2001 with her first wiper.