March 18th, 2002

The Premiere OnLine Magazine for the Fly Fishing Enthusiast.
This is where our readers tell their stories . . .

Thanks Dad
By B.C. Nick

I don't know where this one is going, but the journeys the thing so here goes!

My dad and I had gone fishing every Sunday since I was old enough to bicycle (we lived in England, and nobody had a car) and moved to Canada when I was ten. At twelve my father bought me my first fly rod. One of those Japanese bamboo fly rods in the wooden box with compartments for flies, leaders and stuff. You can say what you want about the quality of those rigs, but to a boy like me it was the greatest present I had ever been given!

At fourteen I saved money and bought a fly tying kit, as I was old enough to interpret the pain on my father's face as I cracked of yet another fly as one of a patient man facing a financial disaster. "That's eight flies so far today Nick." I got good at it too, considering the six page, 'How to tie flies book,' that came with it, considering that my kit did not include even a bobbin! My Dad handed out a few of my flies to his fishing buddies, and I know he was really proud the day he came home with ten bucks for me from a fellow fisher who swore by one of my flies and wanted me to tie him some up! (Being British he of course couldn't say so.)

Like a lot of us I got more interested in girls than hanging around a fly tying bench, but my Dad and I never quit fishing together. Even after I married, our twice yearly ritual of five day fishing holidays was taken as a given! In my mid-twenties I began fly tying again because we would fish god-forsaken places, high in the mountains, and if you ran out of the 'pattern of the day' that was all she wrote folks.

I think often of those time the two of us spent together, drinking scotch in his truck or a cabin after a hard days fishing, with him telling me tales of his own childhood.

When he died, I took off three weeks of work, got in my own truck, and fished every creek, river, and lake we had ever fished, leaving some of his ashes in each one.

On the last day of my trip I stopped at his favorite lake (Tunkwa) and in the evening stopped in his favorite bays to say his goodbye. Fishing was slow, so I was trolling my flies behind the boat. I shipped my oars to dig out some ashes, and as I spread them on the water my rod jerked down and the line screamed out. I caught that fish, and I hooked and landed a fish in each of his five favorite bays. I shipped my oars, I spread his ashes. FISH ON!

Most memories of my childhood have blurred and have faded, but memories of our fishing trips together, are as clear as if it were yesterday.

Thanks Dad. ~ B.C. Nick

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