I love you Dad.  Thanks

I got hooked on fishing because of my Dad.  I have fond memories of going out fishing with him.  It was a lot of pier and shore fishing, and occasional lake and stream fishing.  It wasn’t the same pace of fishing as I do now, but we got out a pretty fair amount.  There’s the time I found the honey hole, up a stream off Lake Chelan.  We were camping next to the stream.  My dad woke up to the smell of frying trout.  He lit up and wanted to know where it was. After breakfast, I walked him upstream to my secret spot, only to be informed by him that my honey hole was a trout hatchery.  Oops…I was a kid 😉

There were some amazing family outings to the San Juan Islands to fish and clam…ending the day with awesome cookouts on the beach.  In preparation for those trips, Dad would get the Farmer’s Almanac, and look for big tidal swings.  We’d plan our outings around those conditions and rally my uncles, cousins, grandparents etc. to all come along.  We’d go to the tackle store, talk to the man behind the counter and get geared up.  Dad would be up all night getting everything ready.  We’d get out there and of course me and my cousin Henry would birdnest our Zebco pushbutton reels or hook each others clothing or body part.  Dad would patiently fix whatever tangle we created and get us back in the water.

Back then I rarely had the opportunity to fish off a boat.  When I was 10 though, my mom won a raffle at her school (she was a high school teacher) for an open party boat trip out of Westport to fish for salmon.  My dad got seasick.  I caught a 26lb silver 🙂  Another time, Dad arranged for us to go up to the northern tip of Vancouver Island and we fished on a private boat.  We got limits of salmon caught in a pristine bay…sharing the waters with orcas and bald eagles.  Unforgettable.

When Jake was 5, I took my wife and son up north to visit my folks (Juj wasn’t born yet).  Other than a handful of trips, I had fallen out of fishing at that point…busy with climbing the corporate ladder and the responsibility of a young family.  Dad suggested we take Jake to a trout farm he had found that wasn’t too far away.  It was great to see my Dad smiling broadly as he showed his grandson how to catch one.  When we got back from that trip, Jake was so hooked, that he pushed me to get out on the water.  We started out at the piers and worked our way up to getting on some open party boats.

A few years ago, my parents came down for a visit.  I was now a frequent fisherman again.  I barbecued in my backyard and Dad was keeping me company by the grill. We rehashed some of those old stories…reliving some of those epic fishing moments.  I proudly shared new fishing tales of Jake and I with him.  My father smiled and leaned over.  “You know  Joe, I’ve never told you this before.  I saw that you really enjoyed fishing, so I tried to get you out there.  But I never really enjoyed fishing myself.”  Wow!  Thanks Dad.

Happy Father’s Day…to my dad and all the other dads out there who’d do anything for their sons/daughters.  Tight lines.

 

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