One day I was at Deep Run Park here in Henrico, VA and I noticed a kid fishing, with no luck obviously, as he was using 20lb+ salt water tackle on our small brim/bass county park pond.
I noticed his parents sitting nearby and asked if it was alright if I gave him some help and they said yes. I then talked to him and spliced in an old tapered leader at the 20lb line and a bobber and then a 5X tippet and one of my prize "Royal Wulffs" that I had been mentored on how to tie at Andre Puyan's shop when I was in Contra Costa, Ca.
Well the boy cast and no sooner had the fly gotten a few inches above the water and a nice 6" brim launched itself out of the water and snagged that puppy. The rest of the afternoon was a hoot for me and a revelation, not only for the boy but for several "hardware chucking" bystanders (since they were not catching anything).
I think all in all he caught a dozen nice fish. As I was leaving he came over and offered to give me back my fly and bobber. "No you keep it" I said. His parent's came up to me and thanked me for giving their son, as they told me, "the best day of his summer".
Fast forward 10 years. My son has had his 21st birthday and many of his international friends have come and had shish kebob, hummus, babganoush and all my wife's great mid eastern food and are leaving to go home. We are sitting in the living room and I say to my son's Egyptian friend Saady, "hey Saady, you gonna stay and have dinner with us?". "Naw", he says, "I'm goin fishing here in a little bit". "What? fishing?", I said. "Wow! That's unusual for college students and guys your age".
"Well", he says, "one day when I was a kid I was in the park fishing and had never caught a thing all summer, and then this guy came up and gave me a trout fly and a bobber and I caught a bunch of fish and since that day I've been absolutely obsessed with fishing!"
"Saady", I said. "That was me!!!". We both had tears in our eyes and as we hugged, we realized that a small act of kindness had engendered a fisherman. And it was not lost on either of us what a great value that was to him, to me and to humanity.
I think that this is one of the most moving moments in my life and I'm glad to pass it on as it was passed to me.