Happy Father’s Day 2010

| June 20, 2010

Many fishers can trace their roots back to a father who first exposed them to the mystery of fishing.

The countless hours fettered away at one end of a line, for some the drainage ditches of South Texas, to the mountain streams of the Rockies, all keeping us out of the house, out of Mom’s way and where we should have been all along – in nature.

At first we stood next to our Fathers, learning to cast, bait, and cast again, all under watchful eyes so as not to “fall in.” Then, we would go further down the bank, still in sight of course, but edging the envelope of distance. Then, we would disappear and only come back when the hollering, to go because it was getting dark, had started.

Maybe we had brothers and sisters to contend or compete with, and maybe not. The act of fishing, in all its forms, can serve to enhance an only child’s sense that it’s OK to be alone, and it can enhance the sibling bonds of being together – helping each other out, and even little brothers and sisters showing their “olders” how it’s done.

If we were close to fishing grounds, the chances were that the we would continue thinking about fishing even after we had gone back home for the weekend. It could be that you were like me, and sat down at your work table and religiously disassembled your reel after fishing, cleaned the sand and salt out, greased it and put it all back together. It could be that you were a young fly tier, who saw something, went home and tied it, and presented it the next day or weekend. It could be that your life became more interesting, and fishing waned, or was just an occasional postcard event. Of course all forms of our original experiences are valid to our geography and situations.

Perhaps you, like me, are from one of those dynamic modern families (the odds are good that you are), and had biological and steps and halfs as part of the prefix of your life. Depending on your generation, the stigmas can be great or small, but sometimes the good fortunes of those modern family dynamics only reveal themselves over time. My fortunes were good.

I remember asking my Stepfather (technical terminology) why he didn’t still fish with my Mom like we used to when I was young? My Mom and Father both answered almost simultaneously, “We did it for you!” I was shocked. I would have sworn they were having as much fun as I was … youth is so easily fooled.

I don’t know if my Grandpa liked fishing as much as I did either, but he was a good sport about it. I was the boat driver, and backer-up’er. I started backing the boat down the ramps at about 13 or 14, and quickly got pretty good at it – after all, the quicker we were in the water and moving, the quicker we got to Three Islands, or whatever our destination. That was about the same time I became the boat driver as well – trying to keep Grandpa comfortable as we crossed wakes with other boats on our way out the Arroyo Colorado, and south along the Intracoastal Waterway to Three Islands.

I would be remiss if I did not recall the time, when at our annual Fourth-of-July family gathering, we had the boat in a slip at Jim’s Pier on South Padre Island for the whole week. About midweek no one would go fishing with me, so Grandma said, “I’ll go!” Off we went to the far side of the old causeway and the “Tarpon Hole” just south of the Port Isabel abutment as I recall. We sat on the edge of the hole for awhile before seeing a six foot long shark cruise through the hole – fin out a’ la “Jaws”. I had a reliable Hump Lure on and gave it all I had to cast and hit the shark on the nose. There was no drama, but that fin did submerge, depart and the shark story emerged. Hats off to Moms and Grandmas who step in in whatever ways they did for your youthful memories of fishing.

Although I never fished with my Dad’s parents, my other set of Grandparents, they were widely known for their fishing as well, and my Grandmother Drawe (Pattee) had deep roots in Port Isabel, Texas, and her story of her involvement in a 1930’s Tarpon Tournament is legend to me (and way too long to tell here).

So let us now pay our respects to our fathers, stepfathers, dads, grandfathers and those who played those rolls regardless of their actual designations. We may now find ourselves known by some of those same names, or we may look forward to those roles with measured anticipation. Regardless, we thank you for your early influence and determination that now bears the fruit of a good, clean and honest communion with nature and the bounty of fish she shares with us.

For – George and Grandpa


Category: Culture on the Skids, Life Observed

About the Author ()

https://www.shannondrawe.com is where to find my other day job. I write and photograph fish stories professionally, and for free here! Journalist by training. This site is for telling true fishing news stories, unless otherwise noted.

Comments (3)

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  1. Great story and example

  2. Julie says:

    What a nice father’s day fishing post! I remember quite a few of those fishing trips to the Arroyo and the beach…..fun times and happy memories!
    Happy Father’s Day to you!! 🙂
    your step sister (technical term)

  3. You make a great point here – my dad was definitely the one to teach me fishing and now I fish the gulf coast and bays all the time.

    Thanks for this post!

    Jaycob Jones
    Corpus Fishing Club

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