July 2006

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Outdoor Father Of The Year Selected

Arizonaís Outdoor Father of the Year for 2006 was selected by the Arizona Game and Fish Department and ESPN Radio 860, and he will be treated to a dream fishing vacation aboard a 59-foot luxury houseboat at picturesque Lake Powell.

"The response we received was overwhelming. Choosing from so many deserving top-dad nominations was tough. In fact, there so many superb stories of fathers passing on the great outdoor legacy that we will share one these each week in the Game and Fish Departmentís fishing report," says Information Branch Chief Bob Miles.

The Outdoor Father of the Year is Ned Rokey of Mesa, who was nominated by his son Rick. 

"Pop started our (my brother and myself) fishing education just after we moved to Mesa in 1957. He would load up the jeep and drive us to his favorite, Roosevelt Lake.

"Hard to believe, but in those days it was a dusty, bumpy road crossing Sycamore Creek several times from the time you left Mesa until you reached the lake three or four hours later. A trip that long always had to include camping for a couple of nights, so he not only taught us how to fish but also to become proficient campers as well.

"I recall once when we forgot to put in a frying pan, Pop showed us how to cook bacon and eggs on a shovel head placed on the coals of a fire. We were taught to clean up our campsite, extinguish the fire, and even to leave kindling for the next person.

"When summer heat hit, it was time for trout fishing in the cool, pine-scented air of the high country. It was on these trips that Pop broke us in on the use of a fly rod and also tactfully introduced us to the fact that catching-and-releasing a fish was not only okay, but also the thing to do.

"What a wonderful thing that our dad passed to both of his sons: a love of hunting, fishing, and a respect for the outdoors that has endured in us, and we have passed on to our own families now for some 50 years. And what about Pop?

"Well, heís 87-years old, the proud possessor of his Arizona Pioneer License, and we are privileged that he wants and is still able to go fishing with his boys much the time," wrote Rick Rokey.

Although only one dad could win the contest, be sure to thank your dad this for passing along the valuable outdoor legacy.  And, Dad, the fishing is great out there.

Grab the fishing poles and take along the family to go catch some memories.
 

 

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