Fishing with Dad
I’m especially excited to get on the water and fish this weekend – not because the fishing should be fantastic, or because it looks like winter might finally loosen its grip across the region a bit, and not because an aqua-therapy session is needed. While all those things are certainly true, what I’m most excited about is the chance to spend time on the water with my father.
My father is a true outdoorsman, having hunted and fished for nearly his entire life. He has instilled in me strong values, sportsmanship, and respect for the resources that we enjoy.
Long before I began fly fishing my father utilized a number of different tactics to catch fish – hardware and bait, but never fly fishing. In my mid-teen years I became increasingly interested in pursuing all species of fish with a fly rod, my father was quick to follow, diving head first into the world of fly fishing with me.
He is an exceptionally talented angler – and fishes with a great deal of tenacity and resolve. He, more than anyone I’ve ever fished with, possesses the confidence that he is going to catch a fish in every single spot that he fishes, every single cast and presentation is made with an extreme amount of confidence. Long after I have given up on a spot, he will continue working to figure out just the right way to get his bugs into the “zone”.
I’m lucky to have such a great relationship with both of my parents, and am extremely fortunate to be able to spend countless hours in the solitude that is offered by the outdoors with my father.
I give my father a good brow beating from time to time – all in good fun though. He will be the first to admit he fishes the nastiest, woodiest runs without hesitation because he has ZERO concern about losing flies (I tie them all for him). Its also a running joke (I don’t think its funny) that he severely lacks in any sort of netting skills. While I’ll tell you that several fish of a lifetime has escaped capture because of his inefficiency with a net – he’ll contest they were 8″ trout not worth catching anyways.
Dan is able to enjoy the company of his father on the water as well.
And recently, his son is coming of age and is finding that the pleasure of fly fishing is more appealing that sitting in front of a television like many kids his age.
While the relationship with my dad will always be “father – son”, its always a fun escape from that dynamic while we are on the water, as our connection morphs into more of a peer/friends scenario. Off colored jokes are shared, topics that would never be discussed in front of mom are explored, we talk about sports and beer and how’d we’d survive if we were stranded in the middle of nowhere. He frequently reminds me that if a bear were to be chasing us – he wouldn’t need to outrun the bear, he’d only have to outrun me.
His cackle can be heard throughout the river valley anytime someone in the group hooks a fish – loudly proclaiming “you are getting your ass kicked”. He is probably more excited than I am when I catch a fish.
I can assure you he will show up this weekend with a cheap cooler (probably bright yellow in color) that his workplace issues to employees every year. It will have a roast beef sandwich, with mayo and mustard and cheese on it. I will open his day pack and it will be loaded with 2 bottles of water and the rest of the room in it occupied by a combination of Snickers and Pay Day candy bars.
While he will tell me that he will meet me at my house around 6:00, I know that this really means 5:30 – because he can not hold back his excitement to spend the day on the water. That’s okay, because I share that excitement too.