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Touched by the scene of a man and a grandson fishing together, a fisherman presents a rod and reel to a teenager

Touched by the scene of a man and a grandson fishing together, a fisherman presents a rod and reel to a teenager

Lucas Harris, 14, is just learning to fish, which may be why he caught – but couldn’t land – a large striped bass on a fishing trip with his grandfather on the weekends. last end in Nova Scotia.

While fishermen love to tell the story of the one who escaped, this is not the story Harris and his grandfather, David Smith, tell about the remarkable Saturday afternoon they spent. on the banks of the Stewiacke River.

The story they tell tells of how a stranger named Matt Dort turned a good day of fishing into a great day of fishing for them by gifting the budding fisherman a fishing rod, reel and bass lure.

“It shocked me,” Smith said, recalling how he felt when Dort, a licensed fishing guide, handed the equipment to his grandson after striking up a conversation.

Harris remembered it as a moment of disbelief.

“I was like, it’s a joke. Like, it’s not real. And I was really excited,” the Truro teenager said.

David Smith and his grandson, Lucas Harris, seen together in 2019. The two were recently fishing on the Stewiake River when another fisherman approached and gave Lucas a better rod and reel. (Submitted by David Smith)

“You could tell he was hoping to catch one”

Dort wanted the boy to have his second-hand gear because he didn’t think Harris’s Pocket Fisherman – a compact rod and reel – would be able to withstand a fish hit in the area at the time.

“There was striped bass everywhere, jumping, spawning,” Dort recalls. “The boy was excited. He could see the fish and you could tell he was hoping to catch one.

It was at this point that Dort decided to go to his vehicle to look for a spare rod and reel.

“I attached the decoy, pulled the rod up and brought it back to the river,” he said.

“I said, ‘Lucas, I just want to give you this rod. It’ll help you have a more enjoyable experience and be able to catch one, if you could throw a little further. And if you catch one, you want to be able to at least hang on to it a bit. “

Lucas initially resisted, but accepted the gift when Dort insisted and his grandfather nodded to him.

“I was like, ‘Imagine how many fish you can catch with that,” Harris said. “I was not excpecting that at all.”

Dort said he was inspired to give the gift because the grandfather and grandson scene together by the river was a moment to be cherished.

“I thought it was the most special interaction I’ve seen in a long time,” Dort said.

Matt Dort is holding a striped bass he caught in the Stewiacke River on June 5, 2021. (Submitted by Matt Dort)

A flashback on his childhood

It also brought back memories of Dort’s own childhood.

“It was the family bond, the experience I had in the past with my grandfather and my father, fishing with my twin brother,” he said. “It was something I hadn’t seen in a while. So when I saw the boy over there and the grandpa sitting on the bench, he was literally a flashback to my childhood.”

Dort said he believed the gift was a way to pay him back and further fuel Harris’ enthusiasm for fishing.

“It blew me away,” Smith said of Dort’s giveaway. “It really surprised me, the generosity he showed to my grandson.”

He said the new rod and reel had already “jumped” Harris’ enthusiasm for fishing. “There is no doubt about it.”

Harris is holding the fishing rod Matt Dort gave him on June 5, 2021. (Submitted by David Smith)

The new equipment also had the desired effect on Saturday. About 20 minutes after Dort left, Harris caught a big fish.

“I almost had a three foot bass, but it fell. I struggled with it for five minutes, but it got out of my line,” Harris said with a chuckle.

Dort, a human resources specialist at Sobeys headquarters in Stellarton, NS, is hoping to cross paths with Harris and Smith again and maybe try to nab a few big ones together.

Equipped with his new gear, Harris said it was a fishing trip he would love to take.

“It would be really cool,” he said.


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