I had some new neighbors move in next door last year. I offered to take them fishing when I didn’t have a guide trip and the weather and water conditions looked favorable to give them shot at catching some nice river smallies. Their son Gavin is nine years old and had never caught a fish before. It was a family affair with Dad (Jacob) and Mom (Tiffany) joining in the fishing fun. It was a beautiful spring day with clear skies and a ¬†high in the low 80’s. TVA was not going to generate heavily until later in the afternoon so we had the opportunity to fish both the French Broad as well as the Little Pigeon River. Knowing that Gavin had never caught a fish before I spent most of my time working with him on how to cast, detect the strike and finally how to properly set the hook. He was a quick study and it wasn’t long before he caught his first fish. It wasn’t a smallmouth like I had hoped, but it was a chunky and very scrappy white bass. It wasn’t long before he hooked up again and it was quite apparent that this fish was much larger. This fish tested this young angler as he strained to tire it as he slowly worked it to the boat. I saw a characteristic flash of green and knew that Gavin had tied into a nice river smallie. He did a great job of playing the fish and we all were thrilled when I was able to slip the net under and boat a 19 1/2 in. French Broad River smallmouth. Not bad for the second fish you have ever caught in your life. I know most smallmouth anglers of any age or level of expertise who would be proud to catch a smallmouth of that size. The picture of Gavin with the first smallmouth of his life is included in this report. After he carefully released the fish it wasn’t long before Mom got in to the action. Not to let her young son show her up Tiffany countered with 19 1/2 in. smallie of her own. I decided to leave the French Broad and fish the Little Pigeon River. The water was low and clear and Gavin had a ball pointing out a variety of species of fish that would cross our path as we worked our way downstream. The group caught a couple of more smallies and a dandy white bass before they decided that it was time to get out of the daytime heat. ¬†They are a really nice family and a lot of fun to have in boat. Thanks to Gavin and I got the opportunity to watch him catch his first fish. It has been quite a while since I got to enjoy that special moment in young fisherman’s life.