The Greatest Father's Day Gift

Thinking back, the best Father's Day memories I have involve fishing.

I've been casting lines since my grandfather taught me how to hook an nightcrawler and attach a bobber.

He was one of a kind, and spent his adult years working for a trucking company in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. He mostly hauled construction materials to and from sites, actually helped work on some pretty important jobs for the community he lived in.

In fast, he was partly responsible for a large section of what is now one of the longest and busiest highways in the country, Interstate 35.

Another part of his duties was to transport large boulders from a job site, and on one such occasion he was asked to put them in a city park for some natural decoration. Ever since, when I drive by that park and see "grandpa's rocks," a memory sparks and I think of him.

When Father's Day would roll around, the fishing season in Minnesota was already in full swing.

So, naturally, we'd hit the water, usually in my cousins boat. We weren't always looking for the biggest fish or a half hour reel with a fighter, we were more concerned with what we could catch and eat easily.

That meant slabs, and the crappie and sunfish we would bring into the boat made him so happy.

Now that I'm a father, and my grandpa's no longer with us, I've found it more difficult to do the kind of fishing I grew up with.

For one, I'm not in Minnesota anymore, and I can't go dig in my grandparent's vegetable garden for worms.

For another, I'm now in my adult working life, and not a school kid with an entire summer to goof off.

And still, I know that once my son is a little bit older, those kind of memories and traditions will be instilled in him just as they were in me. It makes a difference when you learn to appreciate the waters and fish species that surround you every day, but you don't always think about.

To wrap up, I hope all the fishing, hunting, shooting and otherwise outdoor dads out there have a wonderful Father's Day, and that you get the gift of time spent with your kids, as it should be.

And if that time is also spent in the woods, on the water or at the range, all the better.

Happy Father's Day from Wide Open Spaces!