I took the privilege to leave early for work one morning so I could stop at the near by park and watch some of the early morning fly fishers. It was lightly raining. I had a travel cup full of hot coffee. Finding a spot to park that allowed myself a good view of the spring fed water, I thought this would be a great way to start the day, peacefully by the river, watching, observing.
The drizzle seem to stop no one as the banks quickly became occupied with more fisherman…and fisher…“ladies”. It was about 6:45 in the morning and each fisher had his/her spot picked out along the shore. Most were in their waders and moved further out into the stream.
This is a stream that is stocked by a state ran hatchery nearby. This is fly fisher’s heaven for some. It did not take long before someone had a strike. The neon orange fishing line stood out from the drab of the weather. It rippled its way through the water as the fisherman drew in his catch. It was a very nice catch too! You could sense the curiosity of the other nearby fishermen.
I wondered if the man would keep the fish and eat it later, or will he choose to set it free or let it die and become feed for scavengers. I wondered what was it that drew this man to come fish. Did he need food? Was this a sport to him? Did he compete against friends in their “fish stories”?
My thoughts quickly moved to my father. He was a fisherman. Not so much fly fishing, but he loved bass and cat fishing. I remembered when I was very young, my father would try his hand at making his own lures. He had special poles and certain baits he preferred. I always found his tackle box fascinating with the bright color bobbers and plastic gummy worms that sparkled.
He had a great passion for fishing.
Many times I remember we went out fishing in the rain and drizzle. It seemed like most of the time we took our fish home and filleted them. My dad would always try to have someone in the family go fishing with him. Mom, my brothers, uncles and me. In those serene moments of waiting for the “sport” to begin, there were times spent in sharing candidly with my father or my father sharing candidly with me.
Yes, my father was a fisherman, but sometimes he fished for more than aquatics. He was good at encouraging imagination and would often lay seeds of thoughts in my tender mind. My father was all about the spirit. He lived it, breathed it and taught it. He was always fishing for the Creator in each of his children and family and friends. My father had a special way of touching me on those fishing days. The memory stirred my soul.
I watched the fisher take his new catch and walk out of the stream toward his car. Maybe he was here sharing candidly with someone. Maybe it is not about the sport at all, or if it is then maybe it is bigger than that like say…. about the sport of Life.
With my father’s passion of fishing as my bait, I suppose I went out fishing this morning for some spirit. Wow, what a nice catch I caught. I don’t think I will throw this one away. It’s a keeper. This is my fish story and I am sticking to it!