At one point in our lives my family lived on the west coast of Canada where the mighty Pacific salmon spawn and tickle fishermen’s bait at dawn. My husband Greg was known to have salmon tickle his bait at noon and evening, too, and such was his fishy addiction that when we moved to the prairies, he would sniff out any pond that was rumored to have a fish therein.
Keen to share his delight with his children, Greg dutifully took them, along with little rods, lines and worms, to the local fishing hole. His love was great for both child and fish, but having six kids getting tangled in hooks lines and mud sometimes put a damper upon the affection. I recall one afternoon when, in response to my question, a frazzled daddy replied, “The only bite I got all day was when Sam bit my leg.”
Sam is one of our sons.
Deciding that perhaps having six kids casting at the side of a small pond was not the best way to spend his day off, Greg decided that a boat that could seat only two might be good idea. When Warren, the eldest, reached the ripe old age of 8, father and son rented a boat and set off for the local lake in search of trout. When they arrived home, they had a lovely two-pounder in hand. I’ve never seen them so excited. They recounted their story of how they tried and tried to no avail, and how finally as they were coming in, Warren found an old marshmallow in the boat, used it as bait, and presto!
When his son finally wandered off, Greg, eyes alight, confided, “Hon, Warren was soooooo excited. What a great day.”
My husband proceeded to explain how they had smashed into another boat in the great fight with the fish, and how that clever trout had swum under the docks before they finally got it into the boat.
Later that evening, Warren, with a confidential gleam in his eye, came quietly into the kitchen when I was alone and said, “Mom, Dad was sooooo excited. We had such a great day.”
The delight in his eyes as he recounted their adventure was a mirror for the same I’d seen in his father’s.
That was many years ago and Warren is now a dad, taking his daughters fishing. The memories he helps create for his daughters, just like those created for him with Greg, are the true catch of any day fishing with dad. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there.
Faye Lippitt is the author of “16 Chickens on a Trampoline” and the children’s book, “The Great Caribbean Chicken Caper.”