Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lessons Learned Fishing With My Dad

All the talk about a fishing tournament got me to thinking about my dad. My dad is in heaven now, but he's still nearby in my thoughts. He would have been one of the first to register for the fishing tournament because he loved to fish. He would go alone, with his friends, with his sister-in-law, with his dad, with his children, just about anybody except mom. Mom would eat the fish, but never catch them.

I still can hear the birds singing as dad and I sat on the banks of the channel waiting for the bobber to go under. I can smell the water and feel the sun on the back of my neck, as dad sat next to me and taught me fishing lessons:

1. Be patient - not every cast will catch a fish.
2. Be kind to the environment - pack out your trash.
3. Storms are okay - fish will bite in the rain.
4. Use the right bait - if fish are biting worms, don't give them minnows.
5. Plain poles can catch just as many fish as fancy ones.
6. If the fish don't bite - don't blame the fish.
7. Speak softly - loud noises can scare fish away.
8. Casting across the channel doesn't always guarantee more fish - sometimes the best cast is the one that lands closest to you.
9. Don't rock the boat - you could fall in.
10. Sit down, be quiet, and pass the worms - you need bait to catch fish.
11. Not every fish caught is a "keeper" - sometimes you have to throw them back to let them grow.
12. If you cut yourself, pour some beer on it - the alcohol will sting, but it will be better for you in the long run.

The older I got, the more dad shared different things. He offered advice about dating, job interviews, how to double clutch a manual transmission, what to look for in a used car, how to apply for a loan, and why church is important. Today I may not fish with my dad, but his lessons have worked well for me. In fact, I find it interesting that most of his lessons applied to so much more than fishing. I think he had a plan.


Anonymous said...

As a charter operator in Alaska, I enjoyed your post. One more that I'd add to the list is when you have a nice fish on, be patient and don't horse it in because it will break your line. It will come in when it is ready.

Rand said...

There is lessons in everything... we just need to pay attention.

This story reached me on different levels.

I will use this short story tonight and present it to Homeless men. I will write back to tell how it goes.

Randy Hahn, BS, CSW
The Salvation Army Wausau, WI

Rib Mountain Lutheran

IdahoCharlie said...

After several fishing trips with my impatient grandson, I could add "You can't catch a fish unless your hook is in the water."