Gone Fishin' : For an Angling Father, Something Fishy's Always Welcome
As Father's Day approaches there is always the possibility that some wives and children will question whether dear old dad really needs any more fishing tackle: Why does he need so many fishing rods, Mom? is a question my daughter has been heard to ask. The fact is that no fisherman ever has enough fishing tackle.
The entire fishing industry is built on that one truth. Cabela's - the mid-western multimillion dollar mail-order hunting and fishing retailer founded by two brothers in 1961 (think of a shop for guys that is a cross between Wal Mart and the Christmas Tree Shops) - knows that. Page 30 in the Cabela's Master Spring Catalog, one of several thick catalogs sent out throughout the year, features 30 different colors of just one brand of jig head, including super glow blue, parrot, silver plate, and glow orange.
Some people think Father's Day was invented by Hallmark, the greeting card retailer. For the answer I turned to the internet and found the answer at www.holidays.net, proving once again that the web is useful for things other than enlarging body parts, investing in nonexistent companies, and getting a date.
According to my search, Mrs. John B. Dodd, of Washington, first proposed the idea of a "father's day" in 1909. Mrs. Dodd wanted a special day to honor her father, William Smart. Mr. Smart, a Civil War veteran, was widowed when his wife died in childbirth with their sixth child. He raised the newborn and his other five children by himself on a rural farm in eastern Washington state. Mrs. Dodd realized the strength and selflessness her father had shown in raising his children as a single parent.
The first Father's Day was observed on June 19, 1910, in Spokane, Washington. In 1924 President Calvin Coolidge, a trout fisherman, supported the idea of a national Father's Day. Might Cal have needed a new reel? In 1966 President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father's Day.
Last minute Island Father's Day shoppers will find something to satisfy any dad at one of the Vineyard's local tackle shops. And if by chance dad is not a fisherman, now is the perfect time to introduce him to the joys of piscatorial pursuits.
Wives may find there are certain spin-off benefits. Fishermen spend a lot of time out of the house.
I mention this because my wife, Norma, always seems disappointed when the fishing season ends and I take up my position back on the living room couch holding the remote. By March she seems quite interested in when the fish will arrive. And even when the beach fishing slows in August, she still encourages me to go fishing.
A list of possible Father's Day fishing gifts is pretty long and includes items that run the range from a few dollars to a few thousand. A new fishing plug will cost under $10 and is always appreciated, but nothing says "Thank you, Dad" like a bonefishing trip to the Bahamas. In between, there are new rods and reels, custom fishing rods, or a trip with one of the Island's many local charter captains for dad and a bunch of his closest pals.