Dad used to take me fishing when I was a kid. “Fishing” should be used relatively loose because what it was not was baiting a hook to catch a fish. Instead my form of fishing involved putting each of dad’s lures on individually and casting out into the lake with the heaviest weight we could find and reeling it right back in almost immediately. Dad later retold many of these fishing expeditions as “we washed all of the fishing lures”.
To me back then this was the coolest thing to do with my dad. We would take off and spend a day down at Wellington or Winfield lake and go fishing. Sometimes we took the dog with us!
My favorite fishing memory was one year at the Bortz family reunion out at Mead State Lake. I don’t know what year it was or around how old I was but I most definitely still loved going fishing with my dad.
I’m sure it was a Saturday morning when we left the campsite after breakfast to go to the dock on the other side of the lake to go fishing. My dad had this obsession and love with ball caps. He collected them but typically only ever wore one or two of them consistently. If you knew him, you know what I’m talking about; Ronnie didn’t leave the house without a hat. The hats would get so dirty we’d run them through the dishwasher once or twice a year.
Things were going about normal, we sat at the end of the dock with dad’s big tackle box sitting between us and I had my fishing pole ready to go. I began fishing by selecting my favorite lure from the tackle box and adding it to my line. We probably hadn’t been out there more than twenty or thirty minutes when a gust of wind picked dad’s hat from his head and blew it out into the lake.
Before I knew it he was hollering at me to reel my line in so we could catch his hat. Heaven forbid a nasty old hat get lost to the depths of Meade State Lake. I reeled in and before he could have snatched my pole from me I sent a cast out again trying to get his hat. He took the pole from me as soon as I reeled in and he sent cast after cast out until he finally hooked his beloved hat and was able to reel it back in to the safety of the dock.
I think the only thing that could have made it even more funny to a kid Jessie was if he had put the hat back on his head sopping wet from it’s dip in the lake.