Sleeping in the dirt. It doesn’t have the same comforting feel as “sleeping on a king-sized pillow top mattress in a fancy hotel” and that’s the point. A hard core fisherman doesn’t care where they sleep. Afterall, sleep is simply a means to an end, with that end being of course, fishing.  Find a piece of dirt, toss out a sleeping bag and you’re good to go. I should note that this isn’t something I profess to do (I’m way too old much of a whimp for that). But it’s not something Aaron Otto is afraid to do.

If you’ve yet to see stumble upon the Sleeping in the Dirt blog, you’re missing out. Fly angler/blogger/photographer Aaron Otto is a guy who makes sure his pulse remains strong by getting out and fishing. Fishing is the way he avoids “dying one day at a time at the hands of corporate America”, and fortunately for us we can all benefit from his reclamation on life by visiting his blog.  But there’s more to the website than just some thought-provoking prose and awe-inspiring photography: Aaron also publishes a virtual magazine by the same name, and the 4th issue is all about kids and fly fishing- two of my favorite things that happen to go together quite nicely.

I just finished flipping through the 47 digital pages of the Kids Edition and it is tremendous. The pages are filled with well-written parental accounts of some special times spent with their young ‘uns, with photos to fill in between the words.  The layout of the magazine is great, too- feels just like a print magazine, but it’s greener is so many ways. If you’re old school (with emphasis on old) and like your magazines printed on paper, consider another great feature of the digital periodical:  You have the ability to zoom in really close on the text. That right there is a nice alternative to reading glasses, and suits these 47 year-old eyes nicely.

“Reclaim your youth, take them fishing.”

Getting kids involved in outdoor activities and spending time actually doing something with your kids is what it’s all about. The old saying that “There’s more to fishing than catching fish” is never more true than when you take a kid out on the water with you. The one-on-one time spent together will forge a bond that will last your lifetimes, and if you establish a common passion such as fishing, then maybe – just maybe when your kid gets to that teenage point in life where they no longer think you’re cool, maybe they’ll think your a little less uncool. They really do grow up fast, so spend that quality time with them at every opportunity.  Before you know it you’ll be old and arthritic and in need of someone to row the drift boat for you.

So the next time you’re thinking about taking a fishing trip with a buddy, think about maybe making that buddy be your child. If you still need a little convincing, the stories and photos in the Kids Edition of Sleeping in the Dirt will inspire you.

Thanks for the great work, Aaron!