River Buddy: A Note From Dad

No man really wants to have daughters.  

If they say they do then they were born post 1950 and are lying.  They’re lying because their wives are listening and they still want to have sex once in a while without having to watch “Pride and Prejudice” for the 10th time while simultaneously assuring them that their new yoga mat doesn’t make them look fat.  The first thought a man has when confronted with “Oh honey let’s start a family!” is sure, that’s a great idea.  He’s thinking, hey why not. We’ll have sex a whole bunch of times for months (mornings included) without having to light Jane Austin gift candles or apologizing for falling asleep afterwards. Then she’ll start getting bigger in really cool places while the two of them are scarfing down deep dish, Italian beefs and birthday cake.  He’s thinking he’ll be able to go out to the bars with the guys more often now having the built in excuse that he’s way too kind and caring to drink around his ever increasingly beautiful “little” bun oven.  

Then a few months down the road he’ll have a little buddy (maybe two) with his name so it’s easy to remember.  Some one just like him to help with the lawn, take out the garbage, hang out with in the garage while discussing the pros and cons of radial arm saws vs table saws. A dad clone born with a Cub’s shaped birth mark and a voice strangely similar to Kirk Goudy’s hauntingly romantic whispering phrase “And before too long we were pulling them in”.  Yes sport fans, something even more important than another player who gets the never ending game of “Got You Last”. Finally some one else to blame losing the incredibly stupid “Who Left the Toilet Seat Up or Down” girl thing game (I can never remember if it’s up or down that finally wins), somebody who’s good at peeing in the woods.  Every real man dad’s dream..a built in fishing buddy.  That little “another you” to wake up at 3:00 AM and head off into the great wilderness and do the greatest sport in the world.
Then all of a sudden the dream is crushed! The man’s “little” bun oven brings home some pink stuff for the soon to be new little fishing buddy’s super cool bedroom. “Hey what’s with that,  bun oven dude?”  “That’s not chartreuse!”  “Nobody’s ever gonna catch anything with that color!”    “What?”    “No way!”   “What do you mean there’s another gender?”  “There’s another gender?!” “ Nobody ever said anything about another gender!”  Oh my God she’s got me using the word “gender”.  I’ve been duped.  How could this be?  No more little buddy.  No more garage buddy.  No more Kirk Goudy sound-a-like early morning catch phrase voice little buddy.  Back to playing “Got You Last” with the dog (he doesn’t get it ether but at least he gets excited about the whole thing).  Oh my God, now all that stuff in the bathroom’s gonna double.  Now I’m gonna have to memorize another girl’s name.  Damn, I just learned the wife’s name.  Now I’m gonna have to kill somebody else’s little buddy who’s coming over to see …to see…my daughter.  There I said it.  My daughter!  And 24 years later, after raising three girls by myself, I ended up with what I wanted. What I helped make. What helped make me….Three little buddies.
And the fears, the worries, the sleepless nights, the happy things, the sad things, the triumphs and the failures seem to mystically parallel the universe of river fishing. I would venture to say that most fathers pray that their daughters won’t show up on the cover of a man’s magazine, but then again most daughters don’t fish like this one…

My little fishing buddy.  Though not that great peeing in the woods.     

So,if you haven’t guessed already. AC made the cover of a fishing mag. Yes my friends. A cover I can be proud of. She was featured in the Spring issue of the ISA Bronzeback Bulletin with a 4 page spread on our tornado alley fishing adventure. Below are a few screen shots of the article. Need I say more about how proud I am….

Opening to AC’s Article

End of Article

Cast Away,


3 thoughts on “River Buddy: A Note From Dad

  1. This post although really humorous has a lot of truth to it. My first child was a girl and I was a little worried she'd be to girly to do outdoor things. I'm lucky that she loves the outdoors. She cries if I don't take her with me fishing. Congrats on having your daughter on the cover. I really like your hints about Chicago sports teams here and there. Even if it's just the cubs. My grandfather grew up in Waukegan, IL and we'd watch Cubs and Bears games together.

  2. Well Dad, I had three boys and not a fishing buddy among them. The one I am still in contact with (the other two have gone about their own business and have no time for Dad) is too busy with home and work. Kind of a "Cat's in a cradle" kind of thing. So I envy you your buddies.

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