I have many great memories of fishing with my father as a small child, my father had a love for fly-fishing and he would take me along to some remote place every time he had the day off and the weather was good. We would usually end up far from home at some very secluded creek, lake or small river in the foothills of Alberta, we would walk cut lines for hours on end exploring the creeks, rivers and tiny lakes that were hidden from all but the most serious of fisherman.
In all my childhood years fishing with my dad I don’t ever remember bumping into another fisherman, we did on occasion run into some lonely trapper who would point us to some new hidden fishing spot and off we would go to check it out. We never brought any food, as it was my father’s rule, if you want to eat you had better catch something, not very often did we go home hungry. I can still remember listening to the bugling of an Elk and the smell of Rainbow Trout and Artic Grayling roasting slowing over an open fire, the wind rusting through the leaves as we sit together in silence enjoying the day and dreaming of our next trip together.
My dad has been gone many years now and his last wish was to go on one more trip together. I took a few days off work and headed off into the foothills, where his ashes are now spread over some of our most favorite fishing spots, and I can say in all honesty that grown men do cry, and that these were the most emotion filled days of my life. I went from each river and creek spreading his ashes, I would sit down and the memories of that particular spot would come flooding back to me and I could almost smell the fish roasting and my mind could see my dad fishing along the bank. I was gone for 4 days on this trip and I never did cast my fly, but it was one of the best trips I have ever done in my life.
The memories I have of our trips will last forever and hardly a day goes by that at some point my thoughts will wander off and I can see us standing there together, fishing side by side. There has been days in my life where my wife will come into the kitchen and see me sitting there, staring off into space, holding my cup of coffee with a silly grin on my face, and she will ask what’s wrong with me and I would tell her nothing is wrong, absolutely nothing.
Now that I have children that go along with me to the same places that my dad has taken me, I can see why my dad was always smiling on these trips. The absolute best part of taking my kids fishing is to sit and listen to them tell their friends about how much fun they have going out with the “old man” and you can actually hear the excitement in their voice and see the sparkle in their eyes. Hopefully the memories that I now share with my children are the memories that they will have forever, and someday when I am no longer on this earth, they will be sitting back with their cup of coffee, a silly grin on their face staring off into space.
By Andy Klynstra