by JT Archer
JT is the Chief Operating Officer for SaraBella Fishing. He brings a wealth of talent and experience to our team, and we appreciate all of his skills and insight. Whenever possible, he loves to fly fish (and spend time outdoors) with April, their children, friends, and family.
I found them on an old thumb drive – pictures of my grandparents’ lake in Huntertown, Indiana. As I age, memories from the past get a bit fuzzier, but there are some things that are clear as the day they occurred. I flipped through those pictures and high definition memories flooded me.
Hanging my head over the side of that old metal rowboat, I looked down into the water by a large oak tree that had fallen in years and years ago. Suspended on the sunken branches were fish of immense proportion. “What in the world are those fish, Dad?” He simply responded, “I have absolutely no idea.” We didn’t even try to catch them. They were our version of the loch ness monster. A fantastic blend of scary and amazing all rolled into one.
It doesn’t matter what those fish were. It was a memory created that I will carry with me the rest of my life. Every time I recall that day, I smile and I quietly laugh just to myself. But that was only one of a flood of memories that I recall thinking of time spent with my dad.
That lake. What an amazing place. A place to grow up. a place to learn about my family – the good, the bad, the ugly, too. A time that I had my dad to myself – to learn, to laugh, to simply sit in silence hoping for the next bass (or monster). Every summer, we’d travel there together. Every year, we’d spend from sunrise, to well into the night fishing in that old rowboat. Every year was even better than the last, even though the lessons and insights my dad shared about life grew tougher to hear. I wouldn’t trade those days for anything in life.
Now, I’m a father of three. I watch in awe as my daughters explore and create their versions of “the lake.” I clumsily fumble with telling them about life lessons that I’ve gathered along the way. I try to make them laugh and hopefully show them a thing or two about fishing. I hope they find solitude looking at the trees, the water, and all the beauty that surrounds them. Of course I hope they catch fish. Mostly,
I hope they experience a sense of awe and wonderment, like that which my dad provided for me summer after summer.
As Father’s Day is here yet again, it’s so important that I say thanks to my dad for those fish, those laughs, and some of the best memories of my childhood. This summer, I hope so much that my daughters build memories that matter to them. Memories that last a lifetime and never fade.
I hope all of the moms and dads find time to adventure into amazing places and create life lasting memories for your family, too. And Happy Father’s Day, too.
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