Dawn at Back Lake

The silence is what you notice first. At dawn, at Back Lake up in NH near Canada, there isn’t much happening but for the episodic call from a loon. The water is flat, mirror-like.

I am up for an annual father-daughter fly fishing trip. My daughter is still asleep. I am biding my time, happily, with strong morning coffee and yet another stunning view of the lake.

Each year, we stay in a simple room at the fishing lodge. Each day, we fish for as long as we can, until fatigue or cold or heat beckons us back.

I am not sure how many more of these trips my daughter can do, now that the trappings of young adult college life keep calling her. At dinner, last night, she recounted vividly her first trip up, when she was 10 years-old.

For me, this is my 13th trip. When each child was big enough, I brought him/her up here, to learn fly fishing and experience a vivid natural world, away from screens. I come back each summer with any children who want to go.

Soon, my daughter will arise. We will suit up and drive to the river. We will ease into the cold river, and she will start to fish, with me as her guide.

I cherish these moments, when we can fish and talk and fish some more. Some of my happiest moments involve being up here. Another summer, another fishing trip.

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