TREASURE VALLEY — It's hard to miss the Take Me Fishing trailers, the brightly painted tackle shops on wheels travel all around the state this time of year, and the employees who operate them are passionate about fishing.
"I've fished my whole life," said Aaron Conlee. "My dad took me from the time i could walk and before that, I don't know."
"Fishing is one of my greatest treasures that I had growing up," said Robert Allison. "Even 'til now, you know. I went fishing today. It never gets old. And I want other kids to develop the same love i have for fishing."
These workers provide equipment and knowledge to anyone who is interested at absolutely no charge.
From tying on a hook, and teaching a kid to cast, to stepping across stones to get that sinker out from between a rock and a hard spot, it's all about getting kids hooked on fishing
Fish and Game typically stocks ponds with rainbow trout a day or two before the trailer arrives, maximizing the chances of success. Then the trailer shows up, equipped with everything a beginning angler could possibly need to land a fish...
And oftentimes, as in the case of Ainslee, it is the first fish they have ever caught.
"This is actually my first time actually really fishing," said Ainslee. When we asked what she thought of catching her first fish, she said "It was pretty cool."
The guys who run the trailer will even help with the least desirable part of fishing, cleaning the catch. For parents like Lisa Li introducing kids to fishing without the investment in equipment or even a license is a no-lose opportunity.
"I've got the schedule they issued, and i think we'll be following them around," said Li. "These are pretty good guys."
And those good guys who are helping out, say they're pretty pleased to have this gig.
"It's such a cool feeling to see a three year old catch their first fish and the parents get really excited about it too," said Conlee."
"Whether its the first fish or their twentieth fish they always react the same," said Allison. You know, they're always super excited and they're always glad they caught one no matter how big it is."
You can participate in a take me fishing event even without a fishing license. Just be sure to sign up at the trailer. And before the trailer arrives, and after it leaves, anyone fourteen or older must have a valid fishing license. For a Take Me Fishing schedule, click here.