The Beauty of Nature, The Beginning of an Addiction
Ever since I was three years old, fishing has always been my favorite outdoor activity. I can honestly say that I believe my father would have been crushed if I did not share the same passion for fishing that he does. Luckily for him (and myself) I did, and it has only grown over the years. From the age of six, dad had promised to take me on a fishing trip to Canada once I reached age ten. He kept his word, and on my 10th birthday we loaded up the boat, enough food to last us a week, and traded in the corn fields of central Indiana for the Canadian wilderness. Dad had been going to the same place in Canada for almost 20 years and was finally going to be able to share all of the memories with his son.
After a brutal 16 hour car ride and another hour long boat ride, we arrive at our home for the next week, Sand Point Lodge. Living my childhood years in a big city, I could not believe the beauty of nature. It absolutely amazed me. This is what fishing is all about. So rarely do any of us have the privilege of seeing nature in its purest form. I had been in Canada for 10 minutes and had already seen two deer, a bald eagle, and heard a moose. It was going to be an amazing week.
Having only gotten one hour of sleep in the past 36 hours, there was only one thing to do once we arrived….GO FISHING!!! So we set out across the beautiful lake. I could not take the anticipation any longer. There were so many species of fish I had to catch. Over the next week, dad and I logged over 70 hours on the water. The addiction had started and there was nothing that could stop it. For the first time, I caught smallmouth bass, walleye, pike, perch, and lake trout. I was in heaven and had to fight off tears when it was time to leave. It was not only a week of fishing that was coming to an end, it was a week with my dad.
Dad taught me a lot on that trip. He taught me the “right way” to do things. We left the wilderness in better shape than we found it, took care of the environment, and left the wildlife to live as if we were not even there. He explained to me why the daily size and bag limits were in place and the value of leaving these fish to grow and fight another day. The growing season of the Canadian fish is short, and keeping a decent sized fish can take up to 25 years to replace. Today, I only remember a few of the fish I caught on that trip, but I remember every lesson my dad taught me and why it is important. It is something I will certainly try to do with my son (if I am blessed enough to ever have one).
Trips like this can do a lot for a father and son. Obviously, Canada may not always be the ideal trip for your situation. However, any type of an outdoor tradition with your son or daughter can be one of the most fun and educational experiences of their life. It is something every father should try to do if at all possible. Life is too fast. Everyone needs some time to slow down, relax, and enjoy nature. There is nothing to argue about and nothing to worry about. There is something about the wilderness that brings a father and son together. I have now had the privilege of making 11 trips to Canada with my dad, and I can honestly say in over 100 days spent in the Canadian wilderness, we have not argued once. I think you will find this to be the same for you as well.
Brian Dolne – American Legacy Pro Staff