Originally posted September 5, 2011
I think this letter is beyond overdue. I wanted to say thank you for all those 4 AM wake up calls, all those long drives, and all the time in the wilderness teaching me to fish.
I remember the first fish I ever caught. You got my hook on my line, stuck a few salmon eggs on it, and helped cast it in. I remember standing there, wiggling my Mickey Mouse pole along Bird Creek. You helped me reel in a Dolly Varden, and made me feel like the best fisherman in the world.
I also told everyone who would listen that I caught Dolly Parton.
That’s what a five year old lives for, Dolly Parton and time fishing with their dad.
I also wanted to thank you for not bashing my tiny hard head against the rocks along Bird Creek.
See I’m just teaching my kid how to fish, and I know what an exercise in futility it is.
See he can’t set his own pole up, from putting it together, getting his line set, to what kind of tackle he needs to attach.
He’s been fishing before, but not really. His natural father insists on taking him, so they can ‘bond’….but he sets everything up for him, and I’m assuming he also casts for him, because the kid can’t.
They have also never caught a fish.
So I’ve taken him three times now, and wow….it’s the little things that matter.
Like when you would cast my line for me, then tell me not to reel it in.
I didn’t. He did. Three times.
Or like how you would tell me to look around before casting, especially behind me.
I did, he didn’t. (and almost caught ME twice)
Or how you would tell me not to set my pole down and walk away.
Oh he did. And ran out 100 feet of line across the lake so he could take a ‘Coke break’ while I untangled the other line he managed to destroy.
Moral of the story?
It’s square one with the kid. He’s almost nine, which means he’s got enough dexterity to tie his own tackle on, and enough independent extremity control to cast his own line with a little practice. He needs a do over on everything else, though.
I just have to beat the know it all outta him.
Any advice on that one, Pops?