This melted my heart a little bit.
Last night at a poetry open mic, I read a poem titled Queen. It is a piece about fishing with my daughter up north. Between it and her text and my son's latest interest in fishing I have been thinking about all the great times we've had as a family in pursuit of finny critters.
The activity requires a lot of patience but also allows lots of time to talk about life. It also gives you "fish stories" that will last a lifetime. Times like:
- When Sarah crouched on the doc at 4 years old and fished until we pulled her away. She caught over a hundred fish in 3 days one year (Not that we fisher folk track these things.)
- When Uncle Tom caught a huge bass in the Boundary Waters Canoe area and let Ben reel it in. That is a true fisherman there, letting someone younger than you take your fish because you want them to have the experience and also because in your lifetime, you've had your share.
- When everyone caught their first trout in a reservoir in Rapid City South Dakota. A fun day!
- Catching Walleye in the BWCA with Sarah (The full story is in Dirty Shirt)
- Ben catching his first Muskie last summer.
- Sarah catching a nice Northern Pike off shore in the BWCA after being frustrated the night before.
- Countless stories of fishing with their cousins.
- Both Sarah and Ben fishing with my friend who they call "Uncle Steve."
- Taking Ben or Sarah along with my friends' young kids to fish a local pond. Here were my kids teaching the next generation how to do it.
- Hearing stories of Sarah fishing up north last summer as she worked her intern job near Eagle River. (They're doing it on their own now!)
- Same thing for Ben taking his buddies fishing at Devil's Lake last summer. This makes me most proud of all, my kids teaching other how to do it.
The list goes on and on. And I guess fishing is an acquired taste - not for everyone. But for me it is meditative and relaxing and nothing but fun. I think I've passed on the love for it to my kids and hope to one day get them up to Canada where the best fishing in North America happens, in my opinion. Perhaps that is a retirement goal. Because we would have a blast - of that I'm sure.
Until then, local lakes as often as we can will have to do.