“Dad, can we go fishing?”
Well, of course we can! When one of your college-aged children, whom you now rarely see, asks that, you make it happen.
So, off we went for a Labor Day weekend trip to northern New Hampshire, to the same spot where I’ve taught fly fishing to Mrs. T. and all of our children and to where my daughter and I have gone nearly every summer.
We’ve had a great time, including fishing right below a dam. My daughter caught the biggest fish of the trip, a 17” feisty brown trout. We drive back home shortly.
Our son goes back to college today. Our daughter heads back soon thereafter. The river and the fishing lodge up here look the same since she and I first fished here 10 years ago. But, she has changed so much.
My oh my, how fast time has gone by!
At the fishing lodge, we ran into a family reunion group, gathered to celebrate the grandfather’s 80th birthday. The family has stayed at the lodge each summer for over 30 years. The grandfather now has Parkinson’s and can no longer fish.
We also ran into a group of men in their 80’s. Each summer, over many decades, they get together at the lodge. 20 or so used to, and that number now has dwindled down to six or so.
Perhaps, one day, I also will be 80 and also will return to this same area that has been witness to many happy family memories.
I feel that I am part of a ceaseless and timeless line of anglers, progressing and aging in sequence until, one day, I also won’t be able to fish but will want to return, if only to remember those times when I was young and my children were still with me, those moments that at once feel so close by but are already beyond my fingers’ grasp.