* A lonely boy finds peace in fishing. His mother says John this is not the way life's supposed to be. Don't you see the life that you are missing? And he says... When I grow up I want to be, One of the harvesters of the sea.
I think before my days are done, I want to be a fisherman.... *
Before it has even begun, I've been hearing the rain fall. Tapping from the sky, running down the roof, cascading below and turning my boat cover into a small casting pond. These thoughts get the better of me, and I slip out the back way, chasing the sun, hoping to hear the sound of my fly line ripping through the guides. Midway there - my conscience scry's my son sitting on the neighbors couch, rod in hand bags ready to go. I feel evil. I want to fish...selfishly, for myself... but I go home, grab my boy, and dash off to fish the remainder of the visible light on a beach not far from home... The rain is coming, but I can get my line wet.
The wind was out - not gale force, but decent enough not to let a 3 y/o sling a 4wt into the wind. Choices, choices, choices... He pulls out a dirty kastmaster from a cupholder in our van. He squeeks.. "How about a master kaster?" With a smile, I tie one on. I tie on a short surf candy and we walk a bit and talk about his day. Its a good day to be a dad.
"Dad. There's a hole." Sure enough, a small little trough close enough for him to cast presented himself. The color looked wrong, but I chalked it up to the reflection of the sky... I should have known. It was probably a sea nymph -seeking mischief. A couple casts turns into a couple perch. Not bad I thought. Never caught anything but grief and weed on surf candy. One more cast.... strip, strip, strip. Slow - but steady. Then PUUUUUUUUUUUULLLLLLLLLLL.. I strip set, it pulls - and then PLINK... gone.
I utter something that no father should say in front of their fry, yet most find themselves doing at the wrong time. With a sigh, I back up out of the ebb & flow.
A lot of 3 year olds can cast. - My imp can already cast a mile.. Casting isn't the problem. Peripheral awareness is and that only comes with time and experience and maybe too many close calls.
Wack - pull. pull. UGH. In that moment - my life, the nymphs, the fish that got away and the small imp standing in front of me with a bewildered look on his face - flash consecutively like a combination strobe & projector.
No yelling. I just reeled up my line, told my boy we need to get to the van... every step, more embarassing, every step, a little bit more painful.
Threw the iPhone in the back of the van to keep him busy watching "September Sessions." Grabbed some mono, tied a loop and had a tussle with a little gold kastmaster.
Should I have gone straight to the beach? I could have fished in peace. Nah, I made the right choice. Its just that sometimes, choices aren't always cut and dry and sometimes, you just can't tell what will happen. Its good to be alive. Its good to be a dad. Its good to fish.