Home > 2011 Posts, About Dave > Fishin’


January 10, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

My first memory of fishing is waking up a little before dawn in the bow of an open aluminum boat. We were shrouded in thick, pea soup fog out on the Puget Sound, somewhere off Mukilteo. A buoy bell called to us through the muffled dark. We could even hear the small splashes as it bobbed slowly on its chain not far away. I was five.

Our little vessel rocked gently, drifting with its motor off at zero-dark-thirty on a late autumn morning. A dispersed flock of deep-voiced fog horns sounded at different intervals in the invisible distance. Thankfully, there was no wind or rain, though the cold air cloaked us in Seattle’s heat-sucking damp. Dad, Uncle Bill and Uncle Tom had their lines in the water, talked quietly, sipped coffee from their thermos mugs and shivered.

I didn’t recall how I’d gotten where I was. I must have fallen asleep in the car and they must have carried me to the rented boat. They shivered because I was bundled in in their coats and covered with their rain slickers.

All of them were combat veterans lucky to have come home alive from Nazi Europe, Tojo’s Pacific and Mao’s attempt to swallow Korea, so there wasn’t a murmur of complaint from any of them. Still, they were glad to get their stuff back now that I was up.


By the time we got home in mid-morning, I knew two things for sure: big fish were really heavy, and my dad and uncles had the patience of Saints with a rambunctious boy full of a zillion questions, ricocheting around, tangling their lines and spilling their coffee. 

Fishin’ all over the Pacific Northwest and working together in the garage were Dad’s and my main ‘guy time’.

I loved it.

  1. January 10, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Some of my earliest memories are of going fishing with my father, Dave. I must have been around five years old, since my sister hadn’t arrived. The best part was taking the little sardines and having my grandpa fry them. My favorite part to eat was the tail. I don’t think often about how rare that experience can be to kids nowadays; your blog brought back those excellent memories for which I am so thankful. Beautiful post.

    • January 10, 2012 at 12:36 pm

      Caro, Thanks much! It’s great to hear about your fond memories as well. Sardine tails, huh? Never tried ’em that I know of. My Dad loved sardines in oil from a tin as a snack while we fished. I always loved to put the ‘key’ in and roll back the top. My Mom, of course, wouldn’t allow one of those ‘stinky cans’ to be opened up in her always freshly cleaned house. And, I saw her point. For me, it was, shall we say, an ‘acquired taste’. But, I always eagerly ate them when Dad did!

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