When I was a child, my dad gave me my grandfather’s old fishing pole. It was a special gift. I never knew my grandfather. He died before I was born. Using his fishing pole was like holding a piece of him.
Children have a nasty habit of not taking care of things, even special gifts. Granddad’s fishing pole didn’t survive to see my twelfth birthday. For my thirteenth birthday, my dad surprised me with another incredible gift: a custom fishing rod that was brand new, and all mine.
Oh, I still grieved the loss of my grandfather’s pole. I still do. That new rod captured my heart though, and it didn’t take very long for me to grow attached to it.
I remember spring time on the river with all the trees blossoming out with canopies of green. The fish were biting, and I pulled them in, each one.
The heat of the summer sun still burns my skin, in my memory, as I hook worm after worm, with the fish guaranteed to dance around and find my hook.
A cool autumn wind kissed my cheeks and made me glad for the warmth of coat and toboggan as I cast out far into the distant waters of a mighty lake I fished upon for the first time.
Fishing isn’t just a sport or a pastime. Fishing rods, fishing poles, and tackle boxes aren’t just tools for the hunt. They are companions on the journey, partners on the tide, and maybe they can even be considered friends.
I fished with dad. I fished with friends. I fished on dates- bringing the love of the catch and the commune with nature into the ritual of courtship. I fished alone.
And there were many fish. And many memories, as well.