Dylan Yakimovich

Youth host displays a flair for fishing

  • Mar. 30, 2011 12:00 p.m.

Authentic “people-persons” are more-likely born than taught. Of course there are exceptions, but those with a real knack for interacting with others probably got it before they can remember.

Take 11-year-old Dylan Yakimovich for example. In his case it’s a double whammy in which his people skills are dovetailed with his love for fishing.

This is an exciting time for Dylan as he has a half-hour fishing show due to begin in late May on several channels, most accessibly in this area, CHEK-TV. The show is produced by Dylan’s grandfather Gary Cooper, a man with over 25 years experience in TV production and much more in fishing.

Cooper has several successful shows to his credit and they enjoy world-wide distribution. Programs include Nice Fish; Sportsfishing on the Fly; Gary Cooper’s Fishing Diary; and Dylan’s upcoming vehicle – Nice Fish Junior.

This type of pursuit is clearly not something just anyone can be successful at, but Dylan has displayed the maturity and commitment – to go along with his outgoing personality and passion for fishing – that inspire the confidence of his elders.

“Up in the Queen Charlotte’s he was out in 20-foot swells,” related Dylan’s mom Lisa Yakimovich last week. “A lot of kids wouldn’t have the patience for that, they’d be, like, ‘that’s it… I wanna go in.’ Dylan? No. He will stay out there.” Neither fatigue, nor seasickness will phase the young man as long as there is a task to complete.

“Because it’s an absolute passion for him,” his mom said.

Some people get to three times Dylan’s age, and older, before finding the career path they want to stick with. Some never find it at all. Dylan’s family is aware of this and, therefore, all the more appreciative of his situation.

“I was discussing it with my co-workers,” said Lisa, “how nice is that to know what your passion is at a young age and have the ability… a vessel that allows you to do it. He’s a pretty lucky kid.”

Depending how it all plays out, Lisa said she’s not sure how fortunate this time is for him until he hits his 30s or 40s.

Dylan already has a couple of years experience in this line of work as he’s been making TV appearances since he was nine.

“I’d take him on fishing trips and have him as a guest on my show,” said Cooper, “and he started getting used to it that way. Then I noticed that he could actually carry this himself, that he could have his own show. So we just started working that way.”

Cooper has seen the value of grooming youth for a career in promoting fishing, but due to a number of issues, most notably issues of liability, finding the ideal candidate was not necessarily straightforward. That’s were the family connection came in handy, but this was definitely not just a case of nepotism. Dylan is in this on his own merits and Cooper states the show will appeal to all ages.

Dylan’s name has been freely bandied about in sporting circles over the past several years. He likes hockey, baseball, golf, soccer, and was a member of the powerhouse Victoria Hitmen champion peewee football squad. First and foremost, though, he says he’s sold on fishing… saltwater, freshwater, where there are fish… he wants to be.

Meeting Dylan was a pleasure. The student of Ecole Poirier Elementary is bright, friendly, articulate, accommodating and his enthusiasm is definitely contagious.

He says he’s already had the experience of being noticed as the kid on the fishing show and he enjoyed the recognition.

Dylan’s dad David is obviously proud and pleased with the way his son’s media involvement is developing.

He gets to go fishing at all these fancy spots,” said David, himself a well-known fishing guide, “gets to eat lots of good food at all the great lodges up and down the West Coast. And it’s a great experience for a young kid like Dylan. He knows what he wants to do and he’s good at it.”

He’s weathered the storm, so to speak, in terms of rough weather, various difficulties, multiple takes, etc., but Dylan was asked what he thinks are some of his major challenges as he moves ahead toward hosting his own show.

“Probably just to remember to keep calm, and to remember to be safe out on the water.”

Spoken like a true professional.

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