FARMINGTON — Rick Moody cast his fishing line out into Rollo Pond at Abbott Park on Friday.

Moody, 24, of New Vineyard, hadn’t practiced casting in a while but still got his bait out some distance on his first cast.

Moody used to fish a lot before a mysterious disease attacked him in 2007, two years after he graduated from Mt. Blue High School.

“I was perfectly normal. I was healthy,” Moody said, as he sat in his wheelchair at the edge of the pond. “I used to work at Farmington Chip Plant. I used to hunt and fish.”

He was hardly ever indoors and spent most of his time outdoors back then.

Then he developed a backache and his condition continued to get worse, his mother Teresa Moody said. He has been through numerous tests since then, three brain bleeds and tried numerous medications. Doctors still don’t know exactly what he has, Rick Moody said.

Doctors have classified it as vasculitis, his mother said.

“All in all, he’s doing well,” she said. “He’s a fighter.”

He put on 100 pounds at one point due to medication, and then lost 85, he said.

He has gained some of his strength back.

He focused Friday on the elusive trout that had been stocked on Thursday.

“They are not cooperating,” he said, as he cast his line out once again. His father, Richard Moody, gave him an occasional hand with casting during the fishing derby for adults with developmental disabilities. It was sponsored by Coca-Cola Bottling of Farmington and overseen by the Farmington Recreation Department.

Recreation Department Director Steve Shible said 166 trout, 12 inches and up, were stocked on Thursday. A fishing derby will also be held on July 4.

Rick Moody remembered when he was 10 and went to the derby.

“I caught two nice trout,” he said.

From across the pond the sounds of cheers erupted as Caitlin Turner, 31, of Farmington, caught the first fish.

“That’s a corker. That’s huge,” Moody said.

The trout weighed 1 pound, 3 ounces and was 15 inches long.

Moody’s father helped him put a new worm on his hook. This time, they added a small beer can-shaped bobber.

Rick Moody hoped it would change his luck.

“You just got to have patience,” his mother said.

It’s hard to find places where he can fish, she said.

They need to get his wheelchair or a truck close enough to the water to fish.

Richard Moody said he was able to get his son legal permission to hunt from a truck. He has taken him out practice shooting. With all he has been through, he remains a good shot, he said.

“We just try to do as much as we can with him,” the elder Moody said.

Both parents said their son has had good spirits through his illness.

“Doctors in Boston are just amazed at how well I’m doing,” Rick Moody said.

“We’ve met a lot of really caring people that have helped us through all of this,” Teresa Moody said. “We wouldn’t have done it without them.”

Rick Moody watched as his bobber moved in the water.

“You’ve got one,” his father said. “Just wait.”

“I know how to do it, Dad,” his son said.

He reeled in a shiner. Rick Moody laughed, took it off his hook and tossed it back into the water.

“It got my blood going,” Rick Moody said. “At least I got one. It would be better if I caught a bigger one.”

[email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.