Celebrating the Outdoors: A Legacy of Love


Dave L Headshot“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.”  ~Henry David Thoreau

A few days ago, I was gifted with a real treat. My son, Brent, invited me to join him and our oldest grandson, Lydon, for a birthday outing on Lake Pleasant, a reservoir near Phoenix. While the ostensible purpose of the trip was to fish, it quickly became apparent that actually catching fish was a pretty low priority. Instead, it was a time for the three of us to enjoy a beautiful day together – being on the lake and just having a good time. What a great way to celebrate Brent’s 40th birthday!

Lydon Steering the Boat

There is something about being on the water, whether in a canoe or on a luxurious pontoon boat, that is mesmerizing. Whether floating quietly or flying over the water with wind and spray blowing, it is easy to forget both past and future and just exist in the present moment.

Watching grandson Lydon sitting on Dad’s lap and steering the boat jogged wonderful old memories for me. As a kid in the lake country of northern Minnesota, I spent hundreds of hours on the water and in the woods. My dad had a small cabin, a little one-room building the size of a chicken coop that had been hauled to the lakeshore on a machinery trailer the year I was born. From this primitive little home-base, I fished with Dad or, as I got older, by myself on the little lake. Although we often caught fish, it really didn’t seem to matter much. We would trudge back up the hill at the end of the day empty handed with smiles on our faces as wide as if we had caught our limit.

As my memory slide show moved forward in time, I recalled a few of Brent’s first fishing trips with me. One mental picture was of Brent, only a few months old, propped in a car seat in the shade while I fished for trout in an Oregon lake. Later, I remember him landing a really nice smallmouth bass while we were canoeing in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area wilderness. The smile on his face became an indelible image which I’ve treasured for 25 years. Since then, we have fished together on streams, lakes, and the ocean. These treasured activities over the years provide all of us, from my Dad to my Grandson, with an appreciation of our wild places that has been unbroken now for four generations.

Nebraska Dave
12/16/2011 1:59:52 AM

Dave, you have captured the essence of what fishing is all about. It never was about catching fish. However, it's always nice to catch a few just to put the icing on the cake. Coming from Minnesota you will identify with waking up in the morning with a few spirals foggy heat rising off the water. The echo of the Loon can be hear as they talk with each other. The smell of pine, the smooth morning water, the wafting smell of breakfast cooking are all great memories of fishing with my Dad. My love for fishing started at the young age of five when my Grandpa took me with him. That started a life long love affair with the outdoors. Sadly both my Dad and Grandpa have passed away but now it's my turn to pass the love of catching fish to my seven year old grandson. He's only been fishing a couple times but already loves it. I hope you will have many more experiences with son and grandson. Have a great day fishing.

Jennifer Nemec
12/15/2011 10:08:47 PM

This makes me think of taking the pontoon boat out on Grand Lake with my dad. Thanks for sharing this day, Dave!

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