I haven’t gone fishing in years. I can’t remember the last time I owned a rod and reel, a tackle box or purchased a fishing license.
As a kid I loved to fish. Whether it was fishing alone, with my dad, brother or uncle, I was always happy to have my line in the water waiting for that big catch.
Until this summer I’d pretty much stopped fishing all together. With the exception of a short fishing trip on Lake Fenton several years ago — where I spent more time keeping my son out of the water and worms on my daughter’s hook than actually sitting back to enjoy letting them fish — I haven’t been fishing forever.
A month ago when I took my son Sam camping we stayed at a campground where there was a catch and release lake.
I took him to the store prior to our trip and he and I both bought new fishing poles.
I thought he would probably want a Spiderman fishing pole, but to my surprise he picked out a nice Ugly Stick with a sharp red reel.
Ten was about the age I was given my first rod and reel, so I was proud at his choice. My little man wasn’t so little any more.
We used a borrowed tackle box and went on our camping trip. Our first evening there we fished together for the first time and I discovered Sam really enjoyed it. That first night he didn’t catch much, but on our second day he reeled in a perch, a blue gill and a bass. Dad wasn’t so lucky. I came close to reeling in a blue gill, which got away from me just as I got it to shore. Still, it wasn’t so much the catching of the fish, it was the time together as father and son I enjoyed most. No video games, no TV, no loud music — the time spent with my son was precious and I then knew why my dad, even when he was very ill, went fishing with me as long as he had been physically able. I felt it again this past weekend when I bought a license and took Sam up to Holloway Reservoir in Richfield Township.
We went fishing again, on the very body of water my Uncle Bob took me to as a kid.
I remembered those times fishing with my uncle, and my father before him. Packing a lunch and loading up the cooler with drinks early in the morning.
Getting out to the lake to cast the line in during the early hours after sunrise.
Talking, joking and teaching my son about the sport of fishing.
Those were times I wouldn’t trade that I had with my dad, uncle and brother.
Whether we brought home a big catch or came up empty handed, as Sam and I did last weekend, the important thing was we had fun together. It was boding at its best and it’s something I hope to do with my kids for many years to come.