From the time I could first walk, my life has been consumed by one thing… fishing. It quickly became an obsession, and although catching a rare or beautiful fish is the goal, my passion has really evolved into the photography side of things. I love taking photos of fish.  

My love of fish and photography has taken me around the world, and more often than not, I find myself alone, atop a mountain staring into the night sky, thinking about the years to come and wondering if one day, my son may be camped out under the stars with me. 

I promise you, his early love for all things fishing has been pure and honest. Almost daily, he asks to look at “daddy’s fishing pictures” and watch different films I’ve been fortunate enough to take part in. He learns each fish by color and name, and screams in excitement at “the really big ones” and equally laughs at “the baby fish”. Not only does he love fishing (especially the casting), he loves taking and looking at pictures. We’ll do a little photo shoot and true to his father’s nature, he immediately needs to see the back of the camera. It brings a smile to my face every single time!  

Now, my son Ryden is at an age where we can actually head out on the water. We practice in the house all the time, and with his little practice rod, he’s become quite the little natural. The real test, as with anyone learning to cast, is putting all that practice into motion. Maybe I am biased, but watching this 2 ½-year-old stop fluently at 10 and 2, blows my mind! I’ll be a proud father no matter what path he takes in life, but I’m not going to lie, it brings a tear to my eye, seeing his love for fly fishing develop.  

As mother nature loosens her icy grip on winter, our weekend family adventures are now spent in waders. Watching my wife and son work the water is something I’ll cherish forever. Hopefully, we will have a lifetime of memories along the banks of the river with fly rods and cameras in hand!  

Photos courtesy of Naoto Aoki. Check him out on Instagram: @naoto.aoki.photography!