Among my earliest recollections are those of Saturday mornings, fishing the small farm pond across the road with my father. We didn't have any money, so he'd pack some food in a brown sack and we'd walk the dirt road in early morning darkness. We'd sometimes fish all day, returning with a stringer or two of catfish, bass, and bluegill before supper.
Dad woke my brother and me one morning to fish the pond near my aunt's cabin in the mountains of Tennessee. It was still dark when Dad hooked into something akin to a naval submarine. He fought the fish as us boys looked on in excitement. But when he pulled the giant catfish through the ring of neon green slime to the bank, we were horrified at the slimy monster, and both ran up the steep bank thinking Dad had landed The Creature From the Black Lagoon. Dad laughed about that for years.
When my son was old enough to hold a fishing rod, I would take him often to farm ponds and creek banks and tried to teach him everything my father had taught me. In the process, he became quite the fisherman. He now fishes tournaments and is finding sponsors who are impressed with his ability. And to think it all started with him fishing with a Spiderman rod and reel in a farm pond, now fifteen years ago.
I bet my dad would be proud of him. I know I sure am.
The best part: I can relive all those times with a flick of the wrist, casting into familiar waters, and pulling those precious memories to shore.