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
Thanks Dad. ~ B.C. Nick