Friday, October 25, 2019

Homemade spinnerbait jig

Had my dad lived, he would have been 96 today. The last birthday I spent with him was in 1985. He was sick then. He could no longer drive. Taking the keys away was brutal because he loved to drive even if he had nowhere to go.

He loved taking the backroads and visiting old friends. They'd catch up, sip whiskey from a pint bottle in a sack, solve world problems, and whatnot.

He would go see a man about a dog. Check the cemetery to see if the grass needed to be cut. And like me, he'd drive to the Forks of the river, click the gearshift of his truck in park, and step close to the water's edge. He'd look for herons, muskrats, or late-evening fishermen. He was always interested in what was biting and the kinds of bait the fishermen used.

On his last birthday, he was sitting in his recliner pulled close to the window. When I walked into the living room, he was alone and looking outside at doves on feeders in the yard. The late afternoon light highlighted his face.

I sat with him for a long time. I couldn't find words that seemed to fit. So we sat comfortably with the silence.

I took him a package of homemade spinnerbait jigs. This lure drives the striped bass crazy in the springtime when they come upriver to spawn.

He never got to use those lures because he died the next spring.

Yesterday evening, I had a council meeting to cover. On the way down I noticed the way the setting sun played on the clouds.

I was running late for the meeting, but I decided to take a few minutes to drive into the parking lot at the Forks. Clicking my gearshift into park, I stepped out and walked to the water's edge.

A lone fisherman stood at the point. I called down to him to ask if he'd caught anything. He had not.

When I asked what bait he was using, he said a homemade spinnerbait jig.


  1. You conveyed a sad and yet happy memory. Not easy to do. I felt you sitting with your father in silent companionship. Beautiful.

  2. Excellent post, I think I have something in my eye.

  3. Like father, like son. He is not gone (which doesn't stop you missing him).

  4. Such good memories of your dad. Memories like those keep our loved ones alive in our hearts forever. I don't think it was a coincidence that it was spinnerbait that fisherman was using.

  5. Written so well Rick. I felt like I was in the room, yes 'the bait' was/is so special to the fisherman. I had a BIL who was a fisherman, I just fished. BIG difference.
    Take care. Jack

  6. What a lovely tribute to your Dad. Very well written, very genuine. Love the photo and the memory behind it too.

  7. I could feel your love for your Dad through your words here. Sometimes it's so important to stop for a minute to enjoy the scenery and then find a treasure in a memory.

  8. That's beautiful, Rick.


  9. This is a nice memory even though it is sad. He died too young but he lives on especially at that water’s edge


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