Tomorrow might be a perfect Father's Day from dawn till dusk
Each person has their own interpretation of the ideal Father's Day. Cookouts and fishing trips rank fairly high for the occasion, but every father has their personal preferences.
Although I can't write from the perspective of every dad across the globe, there are probably some generalities that most fishing fathers share when envisioning the perfect Father's Day.
I wish the lure slinging, worm digging, rod-wielding fathers of the world a dream day from start to finish. One where there are no vehicles with loud exhausts racing down the street at 2 a.m., your foot averts every sharp-cornered Lego on the way to breakfast and upon close examination, your receding hairline has miraculously returned to full tide.
My perfect Father's Day would consist of a wake-up call from one of the kids. "Wanna go fishing?" they'd ask and by the time they'd finished the sentence, I'd be dressed and ready to go. My own dad used to rouse me for fishing trips by saying, "There's daylight in the swamp" and he never had to say it loud or even twice. Today would be no different.
Arriving downstairs, my favorite breakfast is waiting on the table. However, my favorite breakfast consists of nothing at all. Well, maybe a granola bar in the pocket for later, but I'm excited to reach the lake.
Now on a typical day, there would be a lot of preparation for a fishing trip. But on the perfect Father's Day, the gas tanks for both vehicle and boat would be topped off, the trailer would be hooked up to the truck, boat batteries are at full charge, all tires are precisely inflated to their recommended p.s.i and the bait cooler is empty (I really enjoy stopping at the bait shop).
Then as we chug down the road, every deer remains stoic as we pass, no near misses with the truck and boat. There isn't any road construction to cause delay and not a single storm-surrendered tree lies across the road.
Once at the lake, the access is vacant, except for a 10-dollar bill flitting across the pavement. Not so many years ago that sawbuck would pay for the boat and vehicle gas, and maybe some bait as well. Even though it will only buy enough gas for a one-way ticket across the lake today, it's the feeling of finding the treasure that makes it worthy.
Coming off plane on our never-fail fishing spot, the water is glass, the air is dry and warm and the white, cotton-like poplar tree pollen all blew into shore the night before.
Throughout the morning we talk, sharing stories and talking about life. Maybe catching a fish or two and maybe not. That part of the trip doesn't really affect my "perfect" Father's day. Getting out on the water with family makes it successful no matter what.
A few hours later we walk through the front door, just in time for a thick steak to come off the grill. Now everyone sits together to eat lunch on the deck while the napkins and plates remain unaffected by the breeze.
And off in the distance, the hammock calls my name. Even though we didn't catch a lunker today, I just might get a shot at one during my perfect Father's Day nap.