The Young and Aggressive (Peeps Hooked On Fly Fishing)

Fish on!
In solid! – Ooh feel the power!

Some of my most enjoyable and memorable guided fishing trips is with children and the younger generation. There is nothing quite like observing their wide-eye fascination of the great outdoors while teaching them how to cast and fish. Their high energy free spirit and willingness to learn are all the desirable traits that jazz a fishing guide or instructor. The entire experience can only be highlighted by the fortune of good luck and witnessing their first catch. Some Youngblood’s are gifted and natural born anglers. Remarkably at an early age they develop skills and talent that rapidly blossom into consistent success. We have witnessed many fall victims to a lifelong passion and addiction. This past spring-summer both Kit and I were fortunate to guide and fish with the following young lineup I personally feel, in one way or another, you will be hearing about them sometime in the near future.

NAME: Conner Laursen
AGE: 17
RESIDENCE: Auburn, Ca.
FAVORITE WATERS/FISH: Mexico-Ca. (Trinity River-Lewiston Lk.) Dorado-Steelhead-Trout.
AMBITION: Engineering/welding

Lewiston Lake
Conner Laursen terrorizing
Lewiston trout.

Conner is well traveled and by the age of 15 he has fished more exotic fresh and salt water destinations than most anglers in a lifetime. (Mexico-South America-Africa-Montana-Idaho). Because of his background and exposure to both fresh and salt water fisheries Conner has a solid power stroke fully loaded by an enhanced double haul that will rival most. He is a small giant. His delivery is generally point blank (often casting too far) and knows how to back it up. Always positive and determined Conner maintains a strong not if but when attitude searching favorite waters for steelhead and trout. I have guided Conner for the past three years and learned to not under estimate his quiet and casual demeanor—More times than not he cashes in on screaming dividends.



NAME: Tristan Mihan
AGE: 15
RESIDENCE: Cottage Grove, Or.
FAVORITE WATERS/FISH: Trinity-Lewiston-Trinity Lks. Steelhead-Salmon-Trout-Bass
AMBITION: Pro baseball pitcher

Trinity River Salmon
Tristan Mihan & fresh run Chinook slab.

I have watched Tristan grow and develop since he was a baby. He is Kit Kreick’s nephew so that explains a lot. At a very early age Tristan was exposed to both fishing and hunting thanks to Uncle Kit. Natural progression led him to take up fly fishing. A south paw, Tristan delivers a more relaxed forward stroke resembling a true “west coast steelheader’s windup.” He currently is a freshman baseball pitcher playing varsity ball and that may very well influence his casting style. Even though Tristan is currently living in Oregon, a state of many fishing options, he has always maintained a passion for his home waters—the Trinity. He knows them well. Whether it is target hunting for selective feeding trout or dissecting waters for steelhead, Tristan always maintains patience which is so vital to success. His approach can best be summed up like a Tim Lincecum—fast ball, slider and on full count have the balls to throw a change-up. Tristan is never afraid to step out of bounds to be successful.

NAME: Kaii Burton
AGE: 12
RESIDENCE: West Palm Beach, Fl.
FAVORITE WATERS/FISH: Florida-Ca. (Trinity River-Lewiston Lk.) Tarpon-Snook-Kingfish-Redfish-Peacock Bass-Salmon-Trout.
AMBITION: Professional fishing Guide

Rainbow trout
Kaii Burton in natural rhythm.

Not until this past summer had I seen Kaii Burton in full action. Some anglers are good, whether it be skill, luck, mojo or whatever you call it. Kaii has it and knows how to use it. Living right on the water Kaii was exposed to Florida fresh and saltwater fishing at an early age by his father Paul and Grandfather Mark. Currently he targets just about anything that swims anytime he can. This summer he visited us for two weeks and continuously out fished anyone willing to wet a line with him. His conventional skills are off the charts. We exposed him to fly fishing and first time out he terrorized Lewiston trout up to 4 lbs… He is a natural born caster with unique ability to read and effectively fish promising waters. His mind is like a sponge, absorbing all the advice offered and asks the right questions. His favorite rod is a classic slow-medium Powell “West Branch” 5 Wt… He vowed to follow through with the long stick in Florida—Flats anglers beware.

NAME: Mason Sayre
AGE: 6
RESIDENCE: Vacaville, Ca.
FAVORITE WATERS/FISH: Anywhere and whatever is biting.
AMBITION: At the moment-Pro baseball player

Lewiston Lake
Mason Sayre puts the pressure to ’em!

At the ripe age of 6 Mason Sayre sheds some outstanding prospects for becoming a very talented angler.
Sure I’m biased -Mason is our grandson. After devoting 29 years of commercial guiding I have seen what it takes. If you’ve got it you’ve got it. Not a coincidence or fluke, time and time again Mason has demonstrated he has the best of both, skill and luck. Just ask anyone who has fished with him especially his father, Chad, who he often out fishes. Addicted to the grab, it makes no difference what or where he fishes. Mason simply enjoys being outdoors. Starting out with a 6’ Cortland GRF1000 fly rod Mason learned a basic 30 ft. cast. This summer he has progressed to a 9’ Echo 5wt. yep, 9’ and even tried a clear- camo sinking line with success. Mason has a long way to go. If he continues to focus and peruse fishing he is sure to become an all-star angler.

It is encouraging and comforting to see new young anglers in the line ups. They represent the next shift not to mention the future of our resources is in the hands of the younger generations. Opportunity, encouragement, support and humor fuels the stoke. Let’s keep’em out there!