I grew up spin casting on rivers and lakes, received my first fly rod, a fiberglass Fenwick 7 foot, at age 12. I fooled around with this a bit at that age on the river near my home in North Jersey. Although I still join my family on an Ontario lake in the summer and fish New Hampshire ponds and lakes for brook trout or smallmouth bass, most of my fishing hours now are spent on moving water and almost exclusively with a fly rod in hand. I like moving water, especially the water tumbling over craggy granite like we have in northern New England. One of the things that always intrigues me about rivers, is how the dynamic force of the water changes the river each and every year. Yes, lakes and ponds change, but at a slower successional pace. With rivers your favorite pool at a cut bank can be transformed with one spring storm, the broad sand bar present last season can be bisected or moved down river this season, a fallen tree can create an obstruction that can create the most beautiful holding water for trout. When I was younger, I used to get upset by these changes. Some have been symbolic; for instance when the log that my dad and and I would sit on to fish when I was young on the Pompton River got washed down with a storm. This happened just as I entered my teen years when parents aren't cool to hang with and don't know much. It's amazing how wise my Dad became again when I was in my twenties and I'm glad I returned to the river with him while there was time. I now come to expect changes to rivers each year and in fact welcome them to a certain extent. As we move into another season of fly fishing I look forward to finding that new hole formed by erosion, in-stream wood or deposition. Exploration and new discovery in places that are well known is the stuff of life.
Mitch Harrison's parents gave him his first fly rod at age 12 and more than 40 years later he is still casting, teaching and learning. Another passion of Mitch's is bird watching. Mitch is a licensed NH guide and a science teacher in Alstead, NH.