Mine started with my Grandpa back around 1976 (I was six years old) out on the rocks just south of Stonefield Beach (roughly seven miles south of Yachats Oregon). He would go with a tin bucket to bring the fish home, about a nine foot medium weight spinning rod and use spark plugs as sinkers and california muscle as bait to catch perch, Kelp Greenling (sea Trout) and other specie... he even caught a crab wigh line and hook (a very large dungeoness).
Well I started following him and he set me up with a small spinning rod (reel on top push button casting type) which was about 6 or 7 foot long and I would use a knife to harvest our bait on the rocks.
I don't remember catching my first fish out there, but do know it was either a perch or Kelp greenling. I do remember being about eight and going fishing with him and his brother off of the rocks at Strawberry Hill State Park. That day I caught the only two fish (both over 20 inch long Kelp greenling) and outfished him and his brother who used to tie flies for a living somewhere around the Umpqua and Roque rivers.
When I was about 12 my grandpa set me up with a fly rod using a bait casting reel and braided line with mono leader (about four feet of leader) and a metal Band-Aid brand bandage container full of red worms or night crawlers and I would follow him on his morning walks and we would both catch trout (rainbows and fresh run cut throat) on Ten Mile Creek. We would only keep a couple fish for the days we went out usually in the 12 to 15 inch range and eat them for breakfast with our eggs. There were a couple time where I caught a fingerling (small salmon smolt about the size of your pinky finger) and a small six inch smolt and grandpa showed me how to release them and the importance of having wet hands when handling fish so that you don't remove the protective slime.
Well due to some decisions I made about which parent I wanted to live with my grandpa quit doing things with me as I chose to live with my mom, but as an early teenager I would go to Waverly Park in Albany and fish in the dammed section of Perrywinkle creek for panfish (blue gill, pumpkin seed, etc...) or to another section of Perrywinkle creek where it intersects first street and catch crawdads. Then I would fish the callipooia (only ever caught pike minow) or some farm ponds for bass.
I went into the Service and pretty much quit fishing for years, and then one day I figured heck there are lakes over here with some trout.. and bang I was going fishing at least once a year for stocked rainbows. Then I got to thinking that I already pay for a fishing license and tags with my sportman's pack and so I bought some line and a medium weight 8.5 foot ugly stick and rigged my trout reel with 10 pound Maxima Chamelion line and went out and caught my first salmon (with the help of an old guy that alwas was where I was fishing the Umatilla).
Well I have been hooked ever since and am now trying to spread the disease to my boy (well stepson really, but he might as well be mine) as I got married almost a year ago and inheritted a son in the process
last year I didn't get to go out due to being too busy, but I am hoping to make up for it this year (have been out a few times but have a bad skunk going.). We are planning a family trip in a couple weeks to Pendland lake in the Blue Mountains outside of Heppner for some trout fishing and I know that will remove some of the skunk.