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Fishing & Reflections

May 11, 2013

I was out fishing with my son Branden. It had actually been difficult to get him to come out. The early morning, the lack of cable or satellite television and the warm tea he had started with was lukewarm at best by now and it was likely he was wondering why he was here at all.

I saw movement and realized his float was bobbing on top of the water. A tiny fish by the ripples, likely little more than bait itself.

When I looked at him though his mind was not on the water or the so called action. He was focussed on his Ipod Touch.

I tightened my lips in frustration. Out in the middle of nature, along a quiet stream bank and all he could focus on was his technology.

I went over to talk to him and suddenly as I approached I saw our reflections in the water.

Except in the ripples I saw the image change. It was not the two of us any longer – in my spot stood my own father and in his was a younger me. I sat with my rod and reel in hand but was focussed on the music playing from my Sony Walkman … I saw him shaking his head as he looked at me and I recalled him once telling me this was no place for ACDC, Aerosmith or whatever else I was listening to. Of course, I didn’t hear him as I was playing the music way too loud. He tapped me on the shoulder and once more told me the same thing but was pleasantly surprised to find out I was actually listening to the Charlie Daniels Band and the Eagles on a homemade cassette which was certainly more his style. I cranked up the Walkman as loud as it would go and we sat there wondering if there was any better way to “Take it Easy” than while fishing.

And then the reflection in front of me changed again and I saw my own father as the lad and my grandfather standing above him. I recognized my father’s face with the same far off distractions as he stared not at his rod and reel but instead at a comic book. At first my grandfather looked perturbed however with time his expression softened. The stories of Doc Savage, Ham, Johnny and the others came to life for my father on those shores and my grandfather was an honest man and saw that this was a great way to get his son to read. So they sat beneath the shade of an old willow reading as they waited for the fish to bite.

“Hey Dad.”

I was startled back to reality as my son looked up at me. The float had stopped bobbing, meaning the fish had escaped.

“I’m watching last night’s game – you let Mom watch her show and didn’t see it right?  Wanna watch it with me? It’s sick.”

It was then that I truly got it. Technology wasn’t something that necessarily stopped us from getting outdoors. It was not something that kept us away from quality family time or an appreciation of nature – as long as it was used in moderation. In fact, at the right time, perhaps – just perhaps it was a tool and even an amplifier to a great day in the woods or by the stream.

It was most certainly a bridge across a generational gap. After all – this was now the fourth generation learning the pleasures of fishing.

And what each generation remembers, honestly, is fishing. Being outdoors, being with Dad.



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  1. Great post! Great “reflection.” Hope to get 3 gens of fisherman out to The Grand next week, like last year –

  2. harpuneet permalink

    it is true and preety nice

  3. Beautiful story Rob! Thanks for sharing!

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