Not all heroes wear capes. Sometimes they wear Yellow Dog buffs and Howler Bros pants. Here’s to all the rad dads out there that shape us every day.

Whether it be the mountain you climb or the ocean you fish, any outdoorsman knows it’s not the destination that counts, but rather the people with you, by your side, for the journey —  for all of our best days are spent under the sun… with the ones we love.

My dad and I took a trip to San Pedro, Belize earlier this month. We left before COVID-19 really hit Texas and Belize had no cases — and we felt we should support the industry while we still could. A few days into our trip the travel warning was announced, and we cut our trip short. But the few days we had under the sun were some I will never forget.

A big highlight of the trip was landing a 16-lb permit and the long fight to get it to the boat. The stoke was high, to say the least. I remember jumping in the water – I couldn’t believe we had landed the iconic fish.

A feeling shifted in me as my dad leaned over the permit next to me for a photo. — Several people will look at that picture and think, “man, what a fish;” But to me, I will look at that photo and remember what an epic day I got to spend with my dad.

All my life I thought the best moment in fly fishing was that split second you connect with the fish and your line goes tight.

Looking at all my days on the water, all the fish caught, the incredible places I’ve experienced, it wasn’t my connection to the fish that was most important to me — it was the one with the people around me.

If I could only give one tip for catching the permit of a lifetime…

I would say it’s important to not stress the small stuff. It’s easy to get frustrated with your cast and the wind and the constantly changing direction of the fish, but if you can figure out your own way to get yourself together and make a beautiful cast and just be locked into the moment things are way more likely to go your way. 

I asked my dad the same question; his tip was to have an outstanding guide… which we did.

Article from Meris McHaney (@merismchaney).

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