As I have often noted, we offer our boys a bevy of various opportunities to participate in activities or events with hope that one will stick, passion will kick in and they will log the 10,000 hours needed to become an expert. Which in turn, will provide my wife and I the retirement income we need to lounge around, feeding each other grapes while a scantily clad, strong handed crew massage our respective feet. It was a parenting strategy we laid out early on in our relationship. So far nothing of note has stuck, but we figure we still have some time.
When I was growing up, my father introduced me to one of his favourite pastimes, fishing. Being an avid fishermen, he wanted the classic father/son moments in a boat at dawn watching bass tail dance as he shared stories and offered wisdom. I was invited on men only week long fishing trips on Lake Manitouwabing and on cottage weekends he would nudge me awake at 6am to head out, showing me how to back hook minnows and frogs, guiding the boat to the perfect nooks and crannies behind stumps and off shelves where the lunkers lay waiting.
Not unlike my sons general indifference to my many sport, hobby or craft introductions, I did not take to fishing. I enjoyed the time with my father (and looking back, it was the most important aspect of this ritual), but I lacked the patience or the ability to appreciate the quiet solace fishing had to offer.
Funny enough, Hudson has developed a love for fishing. He will dutifully sit off the edge of our dock or the rock beside it and plunk his worm into the water and wait for the inevitable hit. Fortunately, tons of sunnies and rock bass meander around our dock, providing enough action for Hudson (and now Tasman) to experience the rush when the red and white bobber quickly disappears beneath the murky water.
This, of course, has renewed my interest in fishing and it’s funny how the little things my dad taught me during his attempts to hook me (get it?) are now passing on to Hudson. How to secure a hook, load a worm or remove a lure from the gaping maw of a bass are things I know how to do and now Hudson does as well.
My father obviously loves that his grandchildren show an interest to something he loves so dearly and he makes efforts to explain to them how there’s so much more to fishing than bobbers and worms and tiny rock bass. It is a common thread I encourage and leap back in, bridging the generational gap that I created.
This past weekend karma shined down upon us all as I borrowed my Dad’s rod, Tasman’s bobber and Hudson’s hook and cast a few towards our swim platform, 20 feet off the edge of our dock.
Bam! What I thought originally was a snag turned out to be 15.5 inch large mouth bass and I landed him with the help of Hudson’s deft net work. My dad came down and took a bunch of pictures, beaming a little I think, watching his legacy extend through the eye of long fishing pole.
We kept Bruce (kids name everything) for a bit and then let him go as we follow a strict catch and release policy at the cottage. Hud continued to fish after that and didn’t catch anything but he remained encouraged and content to be doing something he really loves.
Can almost taste the peeled grapes now.