When I was really young, maybe 5 or 6 years old, I went fishing with my dad and my brothers and some of my dad’s friends. This was a big deal because they were all heap big fisherman. I can still picture the area we were fishing in my head, but I don’t know where it was. My dad set a rod for me and put it in the water with all the others.
And I waited. That's what fishing is you know. It's the art of waiting.
I played in the trees. I played with bugs. Occasionally I’d go to take my line out of the water and my dad would tell me to leave it alone or I wouldn’t catch anything, pulling the line in and out. Eventually I grew tired of messing with it and went to play in the twilight. As the sun went down, a different set of bugs came out that kept my attention for a while. But when it was good and dark, the grown ups decided it was time to go. So I went to reel in my line, but it didn’t reel in very easy. It seemed to be stuck on something.
It was stuck on a pike fish. It was a big one.
Someone yelled, “Dave’s got a fish!” Dad helped me reel it in, and my parents have a picture somewhere of me and my sister and one of my brothers holding this fish up – if they find it I’ll post it – but that fish was about as tall as I was.
It was a great thing, but let me just say, it sets up some rather high expectations. My life in fishing has been all downhill from there. Nowadays, fish just laugh at me as I drag bait right across their faces.
But then there’s my daughter. She is the proverbial middle child and she is a born fisher-person. Whatever little talent or luck or whatever it was that was displayed that day in my childhood has blossomed in her, and she is not timid about it. She baits the hooks. She takes the fish on and off. She finds a way. She doesn’t let the gooey stuff bother her. And she will fish all day if we let her.
We have been going to a Jellystone campground for years now, and we always have to buy her bait and bring the rods so she can spend hour after hour fishing. She catches blue gill after blue gill, looks at them in a bucket for a few hours, then pours them back in the water for next time. So it was no surprise when she came back to the cabin this last time saying, “Dad! I caught a fish!” Cool. Another fish. I looked in the bucket.
It was a large mouth bass. 13 or 14 inches? Pretty long. She caught it all by herself. Completely. 8 years old. You’ve got to love it.
And we did. For dinner.
Peace to you.
© LW Publishing 2010