How do you teach fishing?

Sarah Nichols in the glee of a find catch.

There's no greater pride than a loving pride. It swells the breast with joy and wins a thousand arguments, lays low the petty things and lifts up the great.

They Find It On Their Own

How bitter-sweet when the child you once cradled grows to adulthood and bears her own. She goes away and marries. You wonder where the time has gone; you seldom took her fishing, never really taught her how. She comes home from clear across the States, from where she found her husband and brings him here to live.

A year passes by and she gives you a grandson, Max. “I’ve bought a fishing license,” she tells you–two years in a row, but you’re absorbed elsewhere with life and other things.

She persists.

In the third year, when you’re fishing again, she insists. By golly, she’s serious. You take note; you find the time; and there you are on water you’ve known since childhood with your little girl grown up.

Her husband Todd and his dad have joined you this day too. The sun is warm and welcome. The water is high and a little cold; so you explore until you locate a bite. Several smallmouth are boated, but none take Sarah’s lure.

” Had a nibble,” she says, but isn’t sure. “It might have been a weed.” Still, she persists.

I hand her my rod with one on. I want her to experience the catching.

“No,” she refuses with furrowed brow and smile. She is here to do this on her own, “thank you very much.” She casts again with earnest intent.

You begin to worry she’ll lose interest. But then you look at her casting well and understanding things you’ve said about the bass, where they are and why. You stop casting and watch her. She has the heart for it, still pursuing when nothing takes. You marvel a little, quietly, behind the scene. She doesn’t know you’re watching. She persists.

We’re about to leave when her rod bends suddenly. She has one on and fights it well. Keeps her rod tip down and let’s it play out. When it comes to the boat, Todd nets it for her and the day is complete.

~Dwayne Parsons    Twitter @ifishwrite