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Fishing with Dad

noah-dad-fishing-1

The other day, “us boys” headed up to the lake for some good ‘ol fashion bonding time. We invited my dad to come along because, let’s be honest, the only thing that makes a fishing trip even better is when Grandpa is there.

I’ve always been a better fisherman than my dad. When we were growing up, he’d take us fishing several times every year, and somehow he never caught a thing. He’d get bites, he’d yank on his pole to set the hook, and nothing. Every single time. Nothing. He’d grow tired of it, and then let us hold his fishing pole for awhile. Without fail, the second he handed it over, we’d land a fighter. We would always laugh hysterically at his dumb luck.

It wasn’t until I was a dad that I found out he’d always handed us his pole with a fish already hooked on the line.

It wasn’t until I was a dad that I realized just how much those fishing trips always meant to me.

And so, “us boys” headed up for some fishing, like we often do. The shore was packed. Nobody was catching anything. A fresh insect hatch had just hit and the water was covered with bugs. This meant a never-ending feast at the surface for the fish who suddenly had no need for balls of cheese or worms on hooks.

We rigged our lines and cast them out. We sat for about an hour, wedged in-between dozens of other families. There wasn’t a single whoop and holler. There wasn’t a single shout of elation. The fish were safe that night.

noah-dad-fishing-2And that’s okay, because fishing is much less about the fishing, and much more about the time alone with your kid, away from the hustle and bustle of the everyday.

And then, my bobber went under. I gave a swift jerk to the line and after making sure that the fish was hooked, I sat back down and yawned. “Noah, I’m kind of tired of holding my fishing pole. You wanna hold it for a minute? Can you handle holding a fishing pole this big?” He was elated, and took it from me, excited to show me that he could, indeed, handle it.

The tip of the pole jerked down. “Noah, I think you just got a bite, pull up on it, quick!” He pulled and suddenly felt the thrill of a fish fighting on the line. Daddy, there is a fish! I did get one! he screamed. “Reel it in and let’s see it!”

As he reeled his fish in, I stomped the ground and declared how frustrated I was that I never catch a fish and he always catches a fish. He laughed, hysterically, just like I used to laugh at my dad when he never caught a fish.

He landed the fish, and you would have thought it was Christmas morning. Within the next ten minutes, we came as close to feeling like celebrities as we ever would. One at a time, everybody on the shore wandered over to ask us what we were using. Noah emphatically told everybody who came over the story of how he caught his fish.

On the way home, we all laughed some more about the fish Noah caught when nobody else could catch one.

For Noah, it was magic. For dad, it was beautiful. For grandpa, I’m betting he loved it as much as he did 25 years ago.

And that is why dads go fishing with their kids.

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

Do you have any special memories with your dad? Please share.

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102 comments
Annette Gunderson
Annette Gunderson

My Dad takes my girls fishing. I am so happy about that because my husband doesn't really like to do that stuff but I grew up with it. Papa is SO proud and shows off what his grand-kids have caught! He takes pictures with the tape measure.

Amity Riha
Amity Riha

That was a beautiful story. My husband takes our son up to Mammoth to fish after school lets out for summer and it usually winds up being around Father's Day. I like to think they're doing some serious father-son bonding, but I can guarantee you my husband doesn't hand his pole over when he gets a bite and I think it's mostly because his father never took him fishing when he was a boy.

Hope Malapanis
Hope Malapanis

Fishing with my dad from a canoe in a peaceful lake - some of my very favorite memories! My mom never cared for either canoes or fishing, so it was always just us.

Ginger Conrad
Ginger Conrad

My hubby does this with the kiddo and the laugh is priceless. Thanks Dan!

Randi Davis
Randi Davis

Go perch fishing at fish lake...he will catch so many! Within 2 minutes of dropping the line...fish on! My six year old has legitimately caught more than me!

Sarah Bullion
Sarah Bullion

For a man taking the day off, you sure post a lot.

Debbie Davis Harmon
Debbie Davis Harmon

Thanks for sharing. I have a similar story from my childhood. Great memories!

Michelle Lidh
Michelle Lidh

When you have pages like this, you can schedule posts ahead of time. Maybe that's what Dan did. :)

Miche Provick
Miche Provick

If you are taking it off why are you reposting so we have stuff to read take the day off enjoy it, we will be ok? When I take a day off I take a day off no work related stuff. You deserve to have a days off too.

Lynn Santos
Lynn Santos

love you Dan, thank you for your posts :>)

Amanda Jenkins
Amanda Jenkins

My Dad used to do that with us when we were kids too. I also never realized what was going on until I was much older. I have done it with my son, and there is nothing like that excitement when they reel in 'their' first fish......or their hundredth one. :)  

BrianGilbert
BrianGilbert

My dad was uber cool, I remember how he'd wake me up to watch WWII movies for any show with WWII aircraft in them a shared passion between us, I remember walking in the woods and catching lightning bugs with him and I'd come home with a jar full of them to light my room for one night.  I remember feeding grasshoppers to a praying mantis we caught together.  I remember the snake we found that was dying after being hit by a car and how he let me take it home and try to heal it and feed it toads.  Even though he knew it was already a lost cause.  

 

VonPackard
VonPackard

I LOVED this post!  I used to do the same thing with my little cousins and I can't wait to do it w/ my little boy once he gets a bit older!

NicoleBarber
NicoleBarber

I've read all your posts so far, and for some reason this is the one that made me tear up :)

FrankNezzio
FrankNezzio

As a son and father, I totally get this story. I am a fisherman, my Dad is a fisherman, and my Grandfather was a fisherman. I couldn't agree more with you. I recall one day as a young lad, my grandfather took me out fishing. I caught a really nice trout that day. He brought me all over town to show his buddies what his Grandson caught that day. And like my Grandfather, when I take my daughter fishing with me, if she is lucky to catch one, I am quick to take her picture with it and post it to Facebook, text and email the picture to my friends. I guess I do the same thing that my Grandfather did that day....just with social media. Keep up the good work!

Krystal
Krystal

I just started reading your blog a few weeks ago and decided to start from the beginning. I read this post today and I must be having an emotional woman day because I cried a little. The misty eye cry. This was just so sweet.

lifedeath&thevoid
lifedeath&thevoid

and another thing.

look at that picture of you and your son at the lake.

you, in your flip flops and baseball cap. the both of you, sitting in your folding chairs. is that really how men fish? or posers and wannabe's who've been feminized and emasculated.

do your hands ever get dirty or are they milky soft like a ladies?

lifedeath&thevoid
lifedeath&thevoid

ugg. even you're fishing stories are gayish.

that way you start it out just screams sappy. "US BOYS" in parenthesis illustrates that you don't really view yourself as a man, but are pretending to be a man and do the things men do. real men don't use parenthesis or air quotes. they just do things. and don't always have to tell the world about it.

some good 'ol fashion bonding time? are you serious? real men don't use terms like bonding time. that's a woman psychologists term. did your mom make sandwiches for you guys?

so far everyone of the blogs I've read from you isn't written from a man's perspective, but from a grandmother's perspective on the porch. describing the men in her life.

no wonder your whole audience is women.

freemom
freemom

mmmm . . . Warm SDL over my porridge in the morning.

simply me
simply me

My Dad took me on history tours. As a kid I thought he knew EVERYTHING there was to know about history. These history tours led me to wanting to teach history and teach my own kids about it. Now every time I go to a museum i think of my dad.

Beth
Beth

this makes me teary! I love it! I wish more parents were like you!

Ruth
Ruth

I spent most of my life trying to get my dad to notice me. But reading about how great your dad is really makes me happy, genuinely happy. I've married a man that wonderful, and he's so good to our kids. My children are growing up making those kinds of memories . . .

Beth
Beth

My dad died from lung cancer when I was 12, after being diagnosed when I was 7. All of my memories of him are special and magical and they run together. The memory of him using the dull side of the blade of his pocketknife to stroke a splinter out of my finger or the gentle way he removed the stinger of a bumblebee from my foot... the way he smiled at my mom when he didnt know someone was watching. The way he would cross his legs so that I could sit on his lap.... the sound of cellophane candy wrappers in his pocket (so he wouldnt cough in church) or the sound of when his index finger rubbed the callous of his middle finger out of habit.

I see his smile in my son's face now... I've missed that smile.

Valerie
Valerie

What a beautifully sweet story!

Crystal
Crystal

My husband is such a wonderful father to our four kids. We have taken them fishing before, yet only our oldest daughter (now 15) has ever caught anything. What we like to do together is car shows, races...we're a car family! This does remind me, though, that the lake is a short walk through our backyard and fishing might be fun when my loving husband gets home from his business trip!

dawn cope
dawn cope

My dad is a "crazy" fisherman. Growing up wherever we went he had to fish, shark fishing in Croatia etc etc. I was always the one picked to go with him. Now as a Mum, I love nothing more than watching my 2 little ones fishing with Grandpa and they LOVE it. Everytime we go back to the UK to visit they have to go at least one time. They always catch a fish too. hmmmmm.

Suzanne
Suzanne

lol Actually fishing was one of my dad's favorite pass-times! The best memories I have with him on are on the river with the fishing poles and later in the kitchen frying them up. My dad passed away 2 years ago from diabetes and those are the memories I will always hold onto.

BTW I never caught a single one lol I always broke the line on the rod! But never did he yell, simply laughed and re-strung it. And always gave me another chance.

@Saria_Athen
@Saria_Athen

Just this weekend I went out on our boat with my parents. Me and my dad spent Saturday totting about trying to catch something anything only to come up empty handed. Sunday we went out again and caught six rainbow trout. I may not remember that day ten years from now but I'll always remember how it felt to sit for hours doing pretty much nothing and not be bored. I'll remember the stunning view of water carved canyons and just what it looks like as the rains rush down a sun lit valley to meet you. I'll remember the sound of the rain falling as my Dad told me reel faster and how happy we both were when we pulled in the biggest of them all.
Those memories will stick and I hope someday when I have adopt kids that they will have days like that to remember.

WolfGirl82
WolfGirl82

My dad used to come and eat lunch with me in elementary school, and all of the kids thought he (and therefore I!) was so cool because he'd do things like show kids how to flip peas off the end of a carefully balanced fork with perfect cafeteria precision. :-D He became a dad fairly young (and I'm his oldest), and he'd get mistaken for my older brother sometimes!

We went fishing, too, but I remember the walk down the dirt road back to his truck better than the fishing itself. He once saved me from stepping on a rattlesnake by calmly giving me a firm command not to set my foot down, but told me to look quietly and it'd be fine if I didn't move. I trusted him implicitly, and it *was* fine, and I got a close-up look at a beautiful snake with no harm done.

He was the one who volunteered to take the place of my best friend when she had to bail on our long-awaited trip to Los Angeles last year, and he even bravely visited a wolf sanctuary with me on that trip! He's awesome, and I know how lucky I am. :)

birdflippin'
birdflippin'

I miss the father/daughter fishing trips I used to take with my dad. I can't wait until my boys are old enough to go. I always looked forward to the campfire stories the most and hope that they'll enjoy them as much as I did.

woodsykris
woodsykris

your story brought a big smile to my face and tears to my eyes. Your son is lucky and you are a good dad.

erika
erika

Oh...I was supposed to share a special memory, oh well, oops.

erika
erika

Awww wow! That brings tears to my eyes, just the beauty and magic of it all. I didn't grow up with my biological dad, my step-dad and I weren't all that close, and I come from a long line of women who have not had the presence of a dad. Every time I get a glimpse of a dad having special moments with his children, usually of my husband and our four little ones, I just get all teary being so grateful that there are kids who get to enjoy the presence of a dad. Thanks for sharing! And for not taking these moments for granted.

Summer
Summer

I just have to say this was such a good story and it puts being a parent into perspective. I love the way you write Dan.
My dad was wonderful and there are too many little things he did to make my life great to mention here.

Glamazon82
Glamazon82

I grew up a "daddy's girl", so I learned at a young age about fishing. My dad often entered bass fishing tournaments so he was an old pro. I caught my first fish when I was 4 year old. We were on the dock outside of a timeshare that we owned, and I was wearing my favorite red galoshes and was using my tiny little Snoopy fishing pole. I remember seeing the tip of my pole bending down and feeling the sheer joy of knowing that I had a fish. I remember looking up at my dad and his face was lit up like a kid on Christmas morning. It was a tiny blue gill, no bigger than my little 4 year old hand, but my dad treated it like it was one of his prize winning bass. I still LOVE fishing to this day and take my son fishing often. My dad passed away December 2008, but I am sure he is up there sitting on a riverbank enjoying himself :)

sarah5263
sarah5263

My dad wasn't much of a fisher when I was a kid, but we had plenty of other fun things. I thought it was the best weekend treat if Dad would take me to ride the bus downtown to the Hansen Planetarium. We had cars, we didn't _need_ to take the bus, but it was so magic for me, to have Daddy time. He would let me sit by the window and point things out to me, and always let me push all the buttons etc. And he took time to teach me. I think that is the most important part. My dad is a very smart man, and took time to teach me and answer my endless child like questions. :)

Vitor
Vitor

Yeah my dad used to take me fishing when I was a kid. This memory is very dear to me because my dad departed early, when he was 55 y.o.

Beth
Beth

My dad always took my brother and I fishing too. My brother and I would choose to go to our "lucky spot" - Dad agreed even though we rarely caught a fish in this spot. I have no idea why we called this our lucky spot!! Time to take my 3 year old fishing I think - and I think we'll invte grandpa too!

Anonomyous
Anonomyous

just a wuick cool trick my emma (grandma) taught me about fishing..... hubba bubba on your line for catfish, works like a charm!

enjoy!

trina " target="_blank">www.mommeville.com

Melissa
Melissa

My dad use to do the same thing - your post brought back wonderful memories

Lady Luxe
Lady Luxe

Surfing with my dad everyday as a child and a teen in the most beautiful spots on the coast !

Frumzy
Frumzy

My birth dad is a good man. He has taught all of us about perserverence even in the face of adversity. He taught us then and continues to teach us now about being a good parent and grandparent. When he would come to get us from California and drive us back to Utah for our 3 week visit in the summer he had an ongoing story he would tell us about "Jackie and Charlie" and all their adventures. He would entertain us for hours during the long drive to and from Utah. We would always beg him for more of the adventures. I didn't find out until much later in life that he just made them up as he went along.

My step daddy loved to make home movies with an 8 milimeter camera. He married my mom and inherited seven children, the oldest of whom was 12.
We loved how he did special effects, ran the film backwards when viewing later and chronicaled all our important events. He was a good and patient man.
I love to watch his hands as he played the piano and I loved listening to the music that came out of those wonderful hands.

Melissa
Melissa

I live in Bermuda, and I remember when we had a boat for most of my childhood. My dad never went to church with us, but mom took us every Sunday. But a few, very special Sundays during the summer, she'd let us skip church to go fishing with him. She never wanted to go because she got seasick, so it was me, my older brother and my dad, way out beyond the sight of land, fishing the day away.

I've lost track of all the fish we caught, but I specifically remember the day dad caught a shark! A 4-ft pup, but a shark at any rate! It was as big as I was then, and I remember my dad yelling for my brother to get the support belt, and us pulling back on him as he fought the thing. I remember my brother running for the metal chum bat, and us stuffing it into the small fish tub, it's tail sticking out and thrashing every now and then. I remember asking to go swimming not 30 minutes before all the excitement started, and him teasing me afterwards, asking if I still wanted to go swimming. I remember hours later when we got it home and he cut it open, letting us hold the heart WHICH WAS STILL BEATING! And I remember him making hash with the meat. It looked like brown rice but (to me) tasted like death.

That was the best fishing trip of my life!

manda0413
manda0413

@lifedeath&thevoid Clearly you need to go back to grade school and learn what a parenthesis is. It's not what you think it is.

VonPackard
VonPackard

 Hmmmm . . . At least the "real man" understands basic rules of spelling and punctuation.  Just sayin'!