Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fishing can positively bring families closer together - a letter from my Uncle Pete

 By Sherri Russell

The sport of fishing never ceases to amaze me.  There seems to be some type of fishing that will interest each one of us.  This is especially the case for family fishing.  Uncle John may like plug fishing for steelhead, Aunt Jane may prefer salt water fly fishing, cousin Sue may like bobber fishing for lake perch and brother Dan, may like fresh water fly fishing for rainbow trout, and so on. 

In today's fast pace life styles, many people tend to get wrapped up in their every day responsibilities and self interests.  In fact, some people become so busy that they just don't seem to find additional time to spend with extended family members, such as a favorite Uncle, Aunt, Cousin, Grandparent, Brother, Sister, Niece, Nephew or Grandchild.  Another reason for extended family distance may simply be demographics.

It really does not take very much time and effort to discover your own extended family members self interests.  An idea may be to simply send out an email to the entire family with a few questions and ask each member to answer the questions and email by "respond to all".

Some of these questions may be:

1. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time that other family members may not be aware of?

2. What outdoor activities do you enjoy?

3. What is your favorite food?

4. If you were to go on a vacation with other family members, where would you like to go?

5. When is your birthday?

6. Would you be interested in a family reunion?

You may be surprised to discover that some of your own extended family members may share more common interests with you than you think, such as the case of my favorite Uncle Pete and I.

Until I developed and launched my She's So Fly blog, I discovered that many of my family members were not even aware of my interest in the sport of fishing.  Since then, I have received phone calls, emails and letters from family members that share this same interest.  I would like to share one letter that I got from my Uncle Pete that truly touched my heart.

Dear Sherri,

There is so much I want to talk to you about; you've added another dimension to my already exciting life!  I'm absolutely thrilled with your new adventure!  

Is there any possibility that you will be coming our way, either to Tennessee or Florida, in the near future?  What about around Thanksgiving time or during the Christmas or New Year Holiday time?

I've fished a number of the rivers in Michigan's Lower and Upper Pennisulas.  My favorite being the Pere Marquette river.  I loved to take my canoe from Rainbow Rapids to the Branch Bridge.  I seldom fished from the canoe.  I would usually bank it and wade the river.  

I fished the Muskegon river as well as the Big cedar and I have a lot of stories to tell you about Salmon fishing.  

There were many great times, but none can compare to the present.  To have your Aunt Ann as my wife and fishing companion is something I never dreamed of ever happening.  But it has!!  I derive such pleasure out of watching her enjoyment out of our shared fishing experiences.  I can hardly explain it!

Although it may be premature.  I'm also excited about the possibility that you and your son could come with us on some fishing adventures.  I took my boys fishing with me all the time fishing and would love to have a fine young man like your son come along too.

Very Truly Yours,
Uncle Pete

Along with this letter, came a fishing hat with a Pere Marquette river logo on it.  I will wear this hat with honor and will always think of my Uncle Pete when doing so.  He is a great man and I wish I knew more like him.

"If people concentrated on the really important things of life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles."

What fishing related experiences brought you and your family closer?


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