Agency, Outdoor Recreation
You could say hunting and fishing are in our DNA – quite literally. Our founder, Gus Swanson, was an avid outdoorsman. It’s a passion he shared with his son, Mark, who currently serves as a Production Manager in our Lincoln Office. To this day, brands in the Outdoor Recreation field remain one of our key “areas of focus” as an agency.
In this four-part Orange Dot series, Mark will share stories of hunting and fishing from his youth. We hope that, collectively, they serve as an explanation of our roots in outdoor recreation and the proud tradition we carry on as part of the Swanson name.
My father (Gus) always called the official opening day of fishing season a “Holy Day,” and I don’t think he missed more than a handful of them over his lifetime. He taught my brothers and me to fish at stocked local lakes and in the Sandhills of Nebraska.
One such Sandhills fishing lesson featured my brother, Kirk, and I learning how to fly fish. Dad showed us how to dress the line, tie the fly, gink the fly to keep it on the surface of the water, and how to cast. My brother picked up the casting and stripping of the line quicker than I, and after a few casts had managed to hook a nice rainbow trout. I was always a second too late, or too early to hook the fish when I saw the mouth flash open.
I guess my anxiety and frustration was showing as Dad tried to get me to calmly lift the rod tip and set the hook, instead of jerking on the rod when I saw the fish going for the fly.
The first trout I managed to catch was quite the surprise. Instead of gently setting the hook, I skipped all the finesse and jerked the rod so hard that I set the hook and launched the trout out of the water, sending it flying over my head to land on the bank.
Dad congratulated me on my first trout caught on a fly rod. Then he asked me if I was going to try and catch some more fish, or if I was just trying to break their jaws. Later that afternoon, I did manage to land another fish, more conventionally, stripping the line and netting my catch.