Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Hunter's A Natural

Yesterday was Canada Day. For my American friends, that's the same as your 4th Of July. We celebrated Canada's 141st birthday, it's easy for me to remember 'cause I'm a centennial baby born in 1967, the same year Canada celebrated it's 100th. There's always lots of stuff going on all over the country and here in Edmonton it was no different. The Alberta Government had a free pancake breakfast at the Legislative Grounds, the city had a free BBQ at Rundle Park and many, many other activities throughout the city and the surrounding cities and towns had their own festivities. There were lots of firework displays all over the county with the biggest Edmonton display in the river valley. Every year our family packs up the camping chairs and head to one of the great spots near the valley to partake in the Canada Day events and of course to watch the fireworks (usually at the leg grounds) but this year was a bit different.

Some time around February, my youngest daughter Hunter (9 yrs old), had asked me to teach her to cast a fly rod so she could fly-fish with me. That was music to my ears. My wife Sharmaine doesn't fish and has no interest to learn. My oldest daughter Cassandra thinks fishing is stupid and absolutely hates (or is scared) of every bug on the planet (alive or dead). So hearing Hunter tell me she wanted to learn how to fly-fish gave me hope that I may one day have a fishing buddy like my father had with me. So Hunter and I made plans to hit Cardiff Pond on the morning of Canada Day. I stayed up a little later than I should have on the Monday night and was pretty tired come Tuesday morning but Hunter kept at me and soon we were off. When we got to the lake, I started her off with the tip top section, showing her the side arm 11:00 / 1:00 casting stroke, then moved to the but section with the reel attached and continued with the same casting stroke. She eventually got to practice with the whole rod in a vertical position. I then showed her how to string the line and how to tie on a fly using the improved clinch knot. Now she was ready to cast the fly. Holy S#&t, she's a natural. Although I had to keep giving her guidance with her tendency to bunch line before she cast and keeping her rod in the 11:00 / 1:00 position, she was casting great. And she was all about the casting, no real interest in fly presentation or even catching fish but loved to cast the fly out onto the water. Although she was tired, she didn't stop casting the whole time we were there except to take a bathroom break. I had to actually ask her if she was getting tired, and she was. So after a good two hours of fishing, we made our way home. Before we packed up though, she came over to me and gave me a big hug and said; "Dad, thanks for teaching me, this was the best day ever." Yeah, I think a tear started to form in my eye (but I kept my composure) and replied back with a very heart felt; "you're welcome honey." Being a father really does have it's paydays doesn't it?

So as I wrote earlier, we usually pack up the family and go watch the fireworks. I think we've only missed one year as a family since my oldest daughter was born (unless I was working at my old night club in which the family all went without me). But this year we decided to do something different. We went to see a movie. Although we love watching movies, we rarely go to the theater but rather rent and stay home. So this was a first for Canada day and when we entered the theater low and behold, there was no line-ups at either the ticket center or candy counter and there were lots of places to sit with a good view of the screen in the theater. To top it off we watched Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I'm an old Indiana fan and will be definitely be adding this one to my trilogy at home. We all enjoyed the movie very much and had a great Canada Day, I hope you had the same. And I hope all my American friends have a wonderful Independence Day too.

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