We were up at the cottage of one of my Dad’s good friends. It was on Lake Temagami, known throughout the continent for its lake trout and walleye. I was in my twenties.
Dad would always say that it wasn’t about catching the fish; it was about touring and discovery on the open water by boat. He had real insight about the strategies of the angler. Habitat. Time of day. Temperature. Sunlight. Recent rain or not. Depth of bait/lure.
I was the greenhorn in that small aluminum Springbok. We were trolling slowly in a narrow side arm of the lake edged by tall rock cliffs. The late afternoon sun was casting rich copper shades.
Suddenly Dad stopped the motor. We coasted slowly. Neither one spoke as we looked at those radiant cliffs. Not even a bird seemed to sing. The water was still and bearing the unaltered reflection of the cliffs.
“It’s almost impossible, isn’t it Doug?”
“Look at it. Where does reality stop in those rocks, and the reflection in the water begin?
“Yeah, beautiful isn’t it.”
Nothing more was said for a while.
It was the most religious moment I ever shared with my wonderful Father (Jack Bernard Blair, 1922-2010). It held none of the words of the Apostle Paul, but much of the wonder of the benevolent Creator/Sustainer Jesus.
And in that marvelous moment… we were the fish. Captivated in a boat.
Doug Blair, Waterloo, Ontario (A copy of this goes to my brother Scott. He also knows that certain northland “feel” with Dad.)