One summer, I went fishing a few times with my dad at the cottage we used to own in Chaffey’s Locks, Ontario, and those are some of my favorite childhood memories with him. We’d wake up early and be out on the lake by six or seven in the morning, just he and I in our gray, tin motor boat I liked to call the “old tin can” because, well, it was not very beautiful. Or fast. But if you sat in very front, it afforded a bit of a fun ride if waves were high and you hit them just right
Finding a good place to cast our lines, dad would get the bate out, hook a worm onto the end of the line, then showed me how to use my own fishing rod. I still remember the thrill of wondering whether I’d catch something. There was a lot of patient waiting involved and I remember once we were even caught in some rain but that made the experience all the more adventurous.
Then came a big catch. On one expedition, we came home victorious with a large bass and dad even showed me how to hold the fish by its mouth. I felt so proud and important walking up the pathway from the dock to the cottage holding the wriggling fish, so excited to tell everyone we had done it and I had been part of the successful mission. Accidentally, I dropped the fish once we got inside the cottage and it began flip flopping all over the floor while I screamed in horror but quickly and calmly, dad rescued it. Then, as swiftly as it was rescued, the poor creature was killed and later cooked for dinner.
I think dad and I enjoyed that bass more than anyone else that night. We caught it after all and there is not more satisfaction than that. I’m thankful for these memories and for dad including me in what was doubtless calm, relaxing time to be by himself if he wanted it to be. He only had the opportunity to fish a few weeks out of each year after all. But he let his adolescent daughter in on this time, introduced me to fishing and gave me memories that will always remain precious.
Thanks dad! Happy Father’s Day!