If you want to make Richard Emmons happy, turn off the gadgets and go outside. Emmons is an outdoorsman who often goes camping, hiking, and bird watching. But his favorite outdoor activity is fishing.

“I am 75. I don’t remember not fishing,” Emmons says, “Get me around water, and I am a happy boy." He is trying to pass his love to others as a certified volunteer fishing instructor for Connecticut Aquatic Resources Education. He and a few other instructors held their seasonal family fishing course at the Stamford Government Center on Friday night to help new anglers learn to fish properly.

“Along with learning how to catch fish, we teach how to do it safely,” Emmons says, adding that safety is important both for the fisher and the fish.

Some of his happiest childhood memories are of going fishing with his father and having great talks with him. Now he teaches the classes to expose children and their parents the type of relationship he had with his father.

Emmons and the other C.A.R.E. members will take all of the students from Friday night's class on a fishing trip April 30 at Great Hollow Pond in Monroe so they can show off what they learned. The fishing season starts April 16, but he doesn’t want to take the new fishers out with all of the veterans.

To get a fishing license, visit the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection’s website or in Stamford, visit Pete’s Place Bait & Tackle Shop on Jefferson Street. This year, a license costs $20 for fresh water, and $8 for saltwater. Children under 15 do not need a license. If you are over 65, the license is free.

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