Growing up, I lived within a five minute bike ride of the Mississippi river. I would spend my summers along the shore, casting for Bass, Crappies and the seemingly endless supply of Sunfish. While I always had a good time going down to the river by myself or with a couple of buddies, there was nothing that got me more wound up than when dad would agree to take me down to the spillway and spend a few hours fishing together. I have numerous memories involving me grilling dad with a continual stream of questions about why fish do what they do.
"Why do fish like worms?" "How do fish sleep and swim at the same time?" "How come fish can breath underwater and we can't?"
This would go on for the majority of the outing, and dad would patiently respond with "Shh, you're scaring the fish" or "I'm not sure, watch your bobber..."
These early years set the foundation for a great father/son relationship and created a subject that we could always relate to and shoot the breeze about.
A smile that only a great fish can produce
Now that three states and a thirteen hour car ride separate us, I just don't get to fish with dad as much as I'd like. So thirty years later I returned the favor and reintroduced dad to fly fishing by taking him on a DIY trip to the Alaskan Kenai peninsula. It was a true joy reminding him of the mechanics of the cast, showing him all the latest techniques, and sharing high fives as trophy Rainbows and Steelhead came to hand. I can only imagine how the smiles I saw on his face during that trip must have mimicked my own when I was a child.
If you didn't get a chance to take your dad fishing today, give him a call, and get something on the calendar. It could be something as simple as meeting for a few hours on your local waters, to something more involved like meeting in a far away destination and exploring new waters. In the end, the memories you create, and the smiles you'll see on his face will be cherished much more than another ugly necktie. If you need a few ideas, stop by the shop and we can point you in the right direction.
Father and son using a non-traditional wrangling technique during a photo-op