Fishing Together SHARING A FAMILY TRADITION WITH MY KIDS
Brian R. Summers DMD, PhD Patrick V. Hagerty, DMD
I’ll never forget the day my daughter Norah caught her first fish. She was just days away from her 3rd birthday when we happened to drop a line in the water behind a friend’s house in Roseburg and the tugging and jerking began. Norah was so excited and extremely curious as to what could possibly be hooked at the end of the line. It was the first time she had seen a fish caught, and the look on her face when we pulled her tiny catch out of the water was priceless. It was a small bass, but with it being her first fish, it was one heck of a catch! Fishing has been a hobby of mine since I was a little kid. Growing up, we lived in Rickreall, Oregon, and a creek ran right through our backyard. I would walk down there as often as I could and fish for trout or suckerfish. My father was actually an incredible steelhead fisherman, and while he didn’t pass that skill on to me, unfortunately, I do seem to have inherited the desire to sit by the water and find peace in the wilderness. I also have memories of fishing with my grandfather. I’ll never forget the look on his face when I would hook a catch. As a kid, there was nothing as exciting to me as sharing something with my dad or grandpa. Since becoming a dad myself, I’ve always enjoyed taking Norah out fishing with me. She gets to pick out her own bait every year, and in typical fashion, she chooses the pink and purple sparkly eggs. It’s funny to explain to seasoned pros that we’re using pink and purple sparkly bait to reel in the big ones when we’re the only ones catching anything on the river!
Calapooia Courier June 2020
The best part about fishing with Norah is that you can tell she’s actively trying to learn. Norah is an attentive listener who follows directions very well. Sure, there are times when she’s more interested in the mud or the water like any kid would be, but she always tries to grasp the lessons I teach her. While there’s always something to learn when fishing, it also teaches us big life lessons. As a parent, I value having the opportunity to teach Norah about where her food comes from and how to be appreciative of what we have on the table. For this reason, she knows that if she wants to take her catch home for dinner, she’s responsible for killing it and cleaning it. (Or dissecting it, as I like to call it since I am a biologist.) In doing so, we get to learn about the anatomy of a fish. As a biologist, I love watching her eyes light up as she learns something new about nature. While we don’t get a chance to get out as much as I would like to, I’m happy to share this hobby with Norah and watch her become increasingly interested in it. I’m excited for when my son, Eldon, is old enough to experience the excitement and joy of it, too. I’m not sure he’ll be as good of a listener as his older sister, but I’m looking forward to having Norah and Eldon join me on my fishing adventures. It’s a tradition worth passing down, regardless of what it looks like or how big the catches are.
Good luck to my fellow anglers!
-Dr. Brian Summers
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