August 23, 2011

An Answer to a Reader's Question

I wrote a post the other day about fishing for bluegill.  I get a lot of comments on the blog - good, bad, and incomprehensible - but a particular comment stuck with me.  As a matter of fact, it's still stuck...and it's below, like 14 year old chewing gum under high school gymnasium bleachers.

Thank you Howard.  This is a very good question, one I've often thought about myself, but rarely challenged myself to answer.

If you've been around here for a while, you'll notice I write about the same three bodies of water - Valley Creek, Stony Creek, and Sanatoga Park - pretty often...especially the first one.  Yeah, there's a couple others sprinkled in, but for the most part, those are almost exclusively my fishing trinity.

I live in Pennsylvania...home to many famous trout streams and rivers...yet why do I not fish them?  While I've only been actively fishing for about 3 or 4 years, it still would have provided plenty of time to venture outside of Southeastern Pennsylvania.  

It's not a comfort factor, I don't care where I fish.  I can be pretty outgoing when I want to.  It's not a resources question, I am fortunate enough to be able afford gas money for a couple hour drive and an overnight campground (or hotel) stay.  I need only look at the multiple Barbie dolls in various form of undress scattered around the living room floor to find my answer.

I suppose that it's my own desire to spend time with Lilly, or maybe even some unachievable aspiration of earning that "#1 Dad" button I got for Father's Day a few years back is what keeps me generally local on those short windows of time I get to wet a line each weekend.

At this point in my life, fishing 20 minutes away from the front door knowing I can get a good couple of hours on the water in and still be home for lunch...or to watch cartoons...or lose in Mario Kart on the Wii...or play veterinarian to a posse of plush puppies...or paint a set of fingernails where it's at.  

There's going to be a time, most likely sooner than later, when those little brown eyes will start viewing Dad as embarrassing, a mode of transportation to the outlet mall, an ATM, or even...gasp...the enemy.  When that time comes, I'll soothe the wounds by visiting all the great trout water Pennsylvania has to offer.    

But until then, I'm staying local.  At least for the most part (that's what sleepovers at Grandmom's are for).  

And who knows...if I'm lucky...and if I play my cards just right...maybe I won't need to visit all that Class-A water by myself after all.
Did I mention my little girl starts kindergarten next week?  Maybe that's the real reason for this post.

I had written the majority of this entry about a week ago.  It wasn't until I read the latest post from John at Seven Bridges Road that I was compelled to finish and hit that magic "Publish" button.  If you enjoyed this, do yourself a favor and check out John's post HERE, you won't be sorry that you did.


  1. That's the deal, man. Same reason I can't grant those wishes for a weekly saltwater report, despite being less than 30 miles from some of the best trophy striper fishing in the world.

    I promise that when Hank goes away to college, or trade school, or whatever, that I will blog a "flounder of the week."

    Until then, it'll be a smattering of what fish exist where I happen to be for work, or between work and home, or on family travel.

  2. You're a good man, Michael.

  3. Dear Daddy,

    Me and Mommy can get along without you for one day. You should go see the LeTort, or the Yellow Breeches. I hear the fishing there is pretty good in the spring.

  4. As you have figured out, Michael, life is a balancing act. Lilly will understand and appreciate when dad takes some time for himself to enjoy his passions. That enjoyment is a teaching moment for our children which will pay dividends in the future. Having your child as a fishing buddy has to be one of my most rewarding moments as a parent.

  5. Take the barbies tubing at Sunfish Rock, now that's a blog post!

    Sunfish Rock - I like the sound of that.

    Sunfish Rock Barbies - better leave the puppies on the bank though, they look pretty absorbent.

  6. Dad's (parents in general actually)in my opinion are three things to our children over the course of life.
    Super Hero, Idiot and cherished. You'll get to fish a little more in the middle stage, hell you'll need to then. Take anvantage of every second you'll never get em back.

  7. I can relate. My fam is why I don't backpack or drive great distances to fish as much as I could and the truth is I don't feel I'm missing much. My kids are only young for so long. The fish and the mountains will be there for a long time and when the kids get old enough we will do those big trips together.

  8. "play veterinarian to a posse of plush puppies" -- good memories there!

  9. I had a witty comment about bluegill being more fun than trout, then you got all sappy and shamed me out of saying it...oops I did already.

    Your a good dad, and someday she'll see all the pictures on this blog and you'll be an embarrassing dad for a while. Then you'll be a good dad again when she sees all these pictures again.

  10. Fair enough Mike and I admire you for your priorities. Lilly is a doll that would be hard to leave sight of even for a weekend. Meantime, perhaps when the time is right we can fish some of those trout stream together.

  11. One of the greatest things that can happen to a blogger is to get recognition from his or her peers. Thank you for the comment and beautiful post Michael. One day when they take us fishing we can look back and smile at this.. thanks again.. Eww-nah-lee-ee.