sky above where dad fished as a young man © kjm
My dad was a passionate fisherman for many years of his life. As kids, we would open his heavy, brown metal tackle box to look at its strange, colorful contents, and I have early memories of him cleaning Lake Michigan salmon in the kitchen sink. One of his oldest friends recently told me that he still has a fishing pole that my dad gave him 50 years ago. In middle age, due in part, I suppose, to the corporate nature of his work, he took up golf and stopped fishing.
After Marilu and I caught a few fish during the family reunion, I decided to take along some of my dad's old gear along on an upcoming canoe trip. His tackle box, at some point, had changed to a newer plastic one, but I found all the contents as I remembered them: daredevils, rattlers, bobbers and sinkers. I took the contents and 10 fishing rods out to Andy's house for advice. Most of the fishing I've done as a younger man has been with Andy, so this was a fun conversation to have over a beer. He pointed out which lures to take, examined the rods for the best choice, and wound new 8 lb. test onto an old reel. Andy will be on this trip, and I love the idea that we could catch some big lake trout for a shore dinner.
But this is a conversation that I would have loved to have with my dad. It's one that I can imagine quite clearly - with him peering into the tackle box and poking his finger around the lures. He'd know just what I should bring.
[Sky Above is a new small series]