Dad was from the old school in which a “real man” could talk baseball, weather, work, and everything else…
As a result I knew my dad as an excellent provider, and a man who loved us but who could never say it out loud. To get a glimpse of the man inside…that was a real treat. It didn’t happen often, but when it did, it usually happened when we were fishing.
And then the magic of a son and dad fishing together began to work in mysterious ways. It would begin with a lesson on knot tying, or when to set the hook, but if I waited long enough dad would begin to tell stories. Stories of long ago, when he was a lad growing up on the farm. He may have thought his stories were simply about pike fishing, deer hunting, or ice fishing in his dad’s ice shack, but to me they revealed much more. Each story told of relationships with brothers, or uncles, or friends. If you unfolded the story you could see love between family members. Emotions and matters of the heart were the glue that held most of the stories together. Certainly they were not the focus of the story, but they revealed something new about the man I cherished the most.
Fishing had always been more than just being in a boat.